Iraqi troops begin assault deeper into Mosul outskirts
Iraqi special forces began their assault into more urban neighborhoods of Mosul from its easternmost district on Friday, the military’s latest push to drive out Islamic State (IS) fighters from the city.
The advance started with artillery and mortar strikes on the Aden, Tahrir, and Quds districts, west of special forces’ footholds in the Gogjali and Karama neighborhoods, Lt Col Muhanad al-Timimi said.
IS responded with mortar fire, he added, kicking off small arms clashes between the two sides. Smoke from artillery strikes rose over the city.
The IS is fighting to hold Mosul as Iraqi forces and allied Kurdish troops squeeze in from all directions with US-led coalition support, mostly with airstrikes and reconnaissance.
On Tuesday, Iraqi troops entered the city limits for the first time in over two years soldiers had withdrawn from Mosul in the face of the IS’ 2014 blitz that seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and neighboring Syria. Now, the Iraqi forces are gearing up for urban warfare expected to take
weeks, if not months, as they work their way going through a warren of dense buildings prone to booby traps and ambushes.
7 Iraq security personnel killed
The Islamic State (IS) group militants killed seven members of Iraq’s security forces during a raid south of the jihadist bastion Mosul on Friday, officials said.
The attack comes in the third week of the massive operation to retake Iraq’s second city from IS, which has already carried out diversionary attacks in other areas.
The militants crossed the Tigris river early in the morning and clashed with security personnel in the Sharqat area about 90 km from Mosul, police officers said.