Iraqi Forces 'Trapped' ISIS In Mosul — US Military

Iraqi Forces 'Trapped' ISIS In Mosul — US Military

In the eastern and western sectors of the city, the Iraqi forces have retaken 4,000 square kilometers of territory - almost 2,500 square miles - since overall Mosul offensive began October 17, Davis said.

"It's very key for our forces to secure the riverside and prevent Daesh militants from turning around our advancing forces", a Rapid Response spokesman said in the morning, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State. "We are not able to leave pockets [of jihadists] behind us; therefore, the advance includes taking control of areas and searching and clearing them and security checks on the citizens present, then the continuation of the advance", he said. The southernmost two are already controlled by Iraqi forces.

Reuters quoted Saadi as saying that government forces have retaken around 17 of the 40 western districts in Mosul as of now.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other support have since retaken most of the territory they lost.

Iraqi forces said on Monday they had taken more territory from the Islamic State group as they press an offensive that has seen them recapture a third of west Mosul and trap jihadists inside.

The boom of shelling and heavy machinegun fire could be heard from the centre of Mosul and helicopter gunships strafed the ground from above on Tuesday morning. But over 600,000 people are believed to have remained in western Mosul amid the fighting. Some pushed children and sick elderly relatives in handcarts and wheelbarrows.

When in the area, Baghdadi rallied a number of the sick group's supporters, after the group has taken a pasting in Mosul and its terror capital Raqqa, in Syria.

"Daesh wanted us to move to their areas but we escaped when the army arrived", he said.

Mosul is the last major urban IS stronghold in Iraq. The Iraqi forces include army, special forces, Kurdish peshmerga and Shi'ite militias.

Security forces are searching for militants trying to sneak out of the city among civilians and according to Human Rights Watch are holding more than 1,200 men and boys suspected of IS ties in "horrendous conditions" at sites south of Mosul.

Iraq's fractious Sunni senior politicians and parties also met last week in Ankara for the first time in years to chart a national reconciliation proposal in the post-Mosul period, Khanjar said.

The fighting has driven people from the city. "There is no water and there is no food and nothing", said resident Ghanem Mohamed. According to the United Nations, the total number of people that have been displaced from their homes exceeds 200,000, including both sides of the river Tigris, because the majority has not been able to return to the eastern neighborhoods in the city.

Islamic State fighters are surrounded in western Mosul.

Federal police killed the military commander of the Old City, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, during operations to clear Bab al-Tob district, a federal police officer said.



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