Iraqi Troops Push to Retake Mosul From Islamic State

  • Iraqi Troops Push to Retake Mosul From Islamic State

Iraqi Troops Push to Retake Mosul From Islamic State

Capturing the bridge, which links Mosul's Old City with the eastern side, would give Iraqis control of three of the five bridges that span the Tigris in Mosul.

Some sites, including the museum, which was vandalised by IS militants, have been heavily damaged, and it will likely be a long time before trains are again plying the rails to and from Mosul.

United States envoy Brett McGurk said on Sunday that the remaining western Mosul neighbourhoods held by ISIL were surrounded and the group had lost more than 60 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq.

Government forcesreportedly killed the military commander of the Old City, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, during operations to clear Bab al-Tob district on Tuesday.

"This will have unsafe repercussions on the post-Mosul phase.there will be anger by residents and Daesh will benefit from the large human losses", he added, using an Arabic acronym for Daesh.

An Iraqi special forces soldier carries a woman injured during a battle between Iraqi forces and IS fighters in Mosul. But many hard days of fighting could still lie ahead as government forces try to make headway in the streets and narrow alleyways of the Old City.

The area, in which they will have to advance on foot when armoured vehicles cannot enter the small streets, could see some of the toughest fighting of the Mosul campaign.

Amid the combat, a steady stream of refugees trudged out of the western districts, carrying suitcases, bottles of water and other possessions.

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Over 65,000 have fled their homes in the past few weeks, according to the International Organization for Migration and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA).

The facilities are located in Qayyarah and Hamam al-Alil, said HRW, which visited some of them earlier this month.

The spokesman said that if the reported allegations of strikes targeting civilians are credible, "that would need to be investigated, looked into, and... if changes need to be made in terms of targeting, then that's something that Department of Defense would look at".

Iraq was under heavy pressure to improve its procedures for the Mosul operation after people reported torture and other abuses during screening of those who fled Fallujah, which Baghdad's forces retook from IS past year.

As many as 600,000 civilians are thought to still be in the Old City along with the militants.

"There is not any operation to advance and attack new neighbourhoods in west Mosul during this day", Saadi said.

On Tuesday the chief of Iraq's Federal Police force announced that 90 percent of central Mosul's Old City had been retaken by security forces, signaling the reclamation of a highly-desired area in the fight against Daesh, APA reports quoting Sputnik.