Iraqi army takes major district from Daesh in W. Mosul

Iraqi army takes major district from Daesh in W. Mosul

Iraqi army takes major district from Daesh in W. Mosul

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

Iraq launched air strikes on Islamic State in Syria, a day after escalating a battle with Islamic State militants in south-west Mosul, Iraq.

Iraqi officials said they had information that recent attacks in Baghdad had been organised from inside Syria. Both the sprawling Ghazlani military base and the airport will be key to the next steps in the daunting battle and will serve as a base of operations as Iraqi forces launch subsequent pushes into western Mosul, which is divided by the Tigris River into two halves.

Commanders expect the battle in western Mosul to be more hard, in part because tanks and armoured vehicles can not pass through the narrow alleyways that criss-cross ancient districts there. Three months later, they retake the east side of the city.

"We're heading towards the center and also the Turkish consulate, which we're about 500 meters from", he said, as attack helicopters fired rockets at targets in the Jawsaq neighborhood.

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"ISIS is using houses full of residents as human shields", Mohammadawi said, as tanks and troops rained fire on suspected ISIS snipers. They moaned in pain and one wore a tourniquet above his knee after being shot in the leg by a sniper.

F-16s were used to carry out the strikes, which destroyed ISIS hideouts and headquarters in the border towns of Albu Kamal in Syria and Husaiba in Iraq's western Anbar province, the statement said.

The United Nations estimated that about 750,000 civilians are trapped in western Mosul.

The push by Iraqi forces into Mosul's western Mamun neighbourhood was followed by intense clashes with IS militants, according to an Iraqi special forces officer on the ground, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Over a thousand are believed to have lost there lives, and close to 200,000 have been displaced.

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