Iraqi Forces Set Up Shelter From Islamic State Sniper in W. Mosul
Al-Jaff noted that more than 140 tons of food aid had recently been delivered to civilian residents of western Mosul, while additional amounts had been delivered to the eastern side of the city.
US-backed Iraqi security forces battling Daesh faced tough resistance from snipers and mortar rounds on Monday as they tried to advance on Mosul's Old City and the Iron Bridge across the Tigris River.
The Iron Bridge is one of three of five bridges still held by Isis in Mosul after others were destroyed by air strikes or by the militants themselves.
A prominent Iraqi Sunni politician on Monday warned Washington the acceleration in a military campaign in western Mosul to drive out Islamic State jihadists was causing a sudden surge in civilian casualties that threatened to undermine the effort to crush the militants.
The troops are now said to be within 100m (330 ft) of the Iron Bridge linking west and east Mosul, but operating in the shadow of Isis snipers.
In mid-2014, when ISIS seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group took Mosul, once considered the terrorist group's de facto capital in Iraq, much like what Raqqa is to the jihadist group in Syria.astern Mosul fell to the anti-ISIS U.S. -backed offensive of almost 100,000 Iraqi government troops, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and Iran-backed Shiite militias, among other fighters.
"It's very key for our forces to secure the riverside and prevent Daesh militants from turning around our advancing forces", a Rapid Response spokesman said in the morning, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State.
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The fighting is set to cost many more lives and wreak further destruction as it moves into the heart of the city.
But retaking the sites are symbolic victories for Iraqi forces and also bring them closer to fully recapturing west Mosul, though tough fighting remains ahead. The decisive stage in the battle for Mosul started on October 17 past year.
He also financed local tribal Sunni groups that fought Islamic State when it first emerged in strength in Iraq.
Mainstream Sunnis believe the Shi'ite led administration has discriminated against them and also say Shi'ite Iran's influence has expanded in the security forces and paramilitary groups.
The forces are conducting "combing and search operations in the liberated areas of Bab al-Toub, searching for traps and mines and terrorists hiding among the people", Jawdat said in a statement.
Losing the city would be a huge blow to IS as it has served as the group's de facto capital since its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself - from the Grand Mosque - head of a caliphate covering Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014.
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Mar 18 2017