Forces In Mosul Make Gains Along Tigris River

15 January, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Essie Rivera
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ISIL militants took control of Mosul in 2014, but over the past three months soldiers, backed up by U.S. forces, have recaptured many districts in the east of the city.

Iraqi forces made rapid advances the day before in a almost 3-month US -backed offensive to recapture Mosul, loss of which would probably spell the end of the Iraqi side of the ultra-hardline group's self-styled caliphate, declared in 2014. Sabaawi said most ISIS militants were fleeing through the Tigris River by boats to the right side after thousands of them were killed.

"We have learned through many, many years that unless there is simultaneous pressure across multiple ends of their flank, they just have the ability to disappear and pop up somewhere else", Slotkin said, emphasising on working "by, with and through" local partners in order for a "success to stick".

He was not in the building at the time, but several members of his family died, one resident said late on Friday.

"There are still clashes".

"In the coming hours it will be liberated completely", he stated.

CTS troops had gathered in the university canteen.

The Iraqi forces also found chemical substances Daesh had used to try to make weapons, CTS commander Sami al-Aridhi said.

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Despite the massive operation to retake Mosul, the militant group maintains tight control of the city's western half where Iraqi forces will likely encounter another wave of heavy ISIS resistance.

"We were targeted with only four vehicle bombs where before (IS) would send 20 in one day", special forces Lt. Zain al-Abadeen said.

According to the army's media office, Daesh has begun blowing up bridges on the Tigris River - which runs through the war-battered city - as Iraqi forces register gains on both banks of the river. Military officials said they possess the ability to construct temporary bridges to allow ground vehicles and troops to get across the river.

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Meanwhile, Iraqi officials confirmed that ISIS fighters, in an attempt to slow down the advancement of the military blew up all five bridges that lead into Mosul.

They said they saw at least three missiles hit the western Mosul al-Jadida area on Thursday, in a raid that appeared to target the house of senior militant Harbi Abdel Qader. It was not immediately clear if the strike was carried out by Iraqi forces or the USA -led coalition.

The head of the country's counter-terrorism operations said retaking the area was a significant victory.

The accounts could not be verified independently. They attribute the increase in pace in advancements owing to the fact that the Iraqi army received renewed support from the Iraqi Federal Police.

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