Iraqi Special Forces Capture Central Bank, Justice Court In Mosul

Thaier Hamed Nadm 10 years old is treated for possible exposure after what is the first chemical weapons attack in the battle for the ISIS stronghold

All of Mosul's five bridges have been destroyed but the capture of the remaining parts on the West bank of the Tigris facilitates the movement of forces progressing up the river that cuts Mosul in two.

The wave of heavy resistance comes as Iraqi forces launched attacks against Isis-held neighbourhoods in western Mosul from three points on Sunday morning.

The streets of western Mosul are much narrower than the eastern half of the city, rendering use of Iraqi armored humvee's useless in some neighborhoods.

Mosul is divided by the Tigris River, and while the series of bridges crossing it have either been damaged or destroyed, they would provide a link between the government-held east and IS-held west Mosul if they can be repaired or otherwise bridged.

Iraqi commanders are bracing for the most hard fight of the campaign as coalition forces move toward the old city district of Mosul.

The government compound includes the main local government and provincial council buildings, a police headquarters and a court building, said Lt. Gen. Raed Shakir Jawdat, commander of Iraq's federal police.

"ISIS would kick people out of their home - and use it as a base for a day or two".

ISIS fighters have "some mortar (teams) and snipers positioned inside homes", said Iraqi special forces Maj.

More than 40,000 people have been displaced in the last week from Mosul.

The militant group swept into Mosul in mid-2014 as it took control of large areas in northern and western Iraq, as well as eastern Syria.

Iraqi forces captured the eastern side of Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting and launched their attack on the districts that lie west of the Tigris river on February 19.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that it was "extremely alarmed by the use of chemical weapons in Mosul, where innocent civilians are already facing unimaginable suffering".

The terror group retaliated with six suicide auto bomb attacks but each of the vehicles was destroyed before reaching Iraqi lines.

More than 17,000 Iraqi refugees crossed the border into Syria's northeastern Hasakah Governorate and received shelter from the Kurdish-led Rojava Self Administration, officials said on Monday.

The operation to retake Mosul began in October, and, if successful, would bring down ISIS's last urban stronghold in Iraq.

At least 12 people have reportedly been treated for blisters and other symptoms consistent with a chemical attack.



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