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Iraq forces launch assault to retake west Mosul

Iraq forces launch assault to retake west Mosul

Members of Iraqi forces, supported by pro-government Hashed al-Sha'abi fighters, prepare to advance toward the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul, after the offensive to retake the western side of Mosul from Daesh terrorists began on February 19, 2017.

Commanders say the battle may prove to be more hard than in the east, because tanks and armoured vehicles can not pass through its narrow streets.

Lieutenant General Yarallah said in a statement that Iraqi forces had liberated the villages of Azbah and al-Lazzakah from the grip of Daesh.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isis leader and self-appointed caliph, is in west Mosul according to Hoshyar Zebari, the former Iraqi finance and foreign minister, speaking to The Independent in an interview last week.

- The U.S. -led military coalition said on Saturday its forces had destroyed a building in the main medical complex of western Mosul that was suspected of housing an Islamic State command center. There are an estimated 4,000 jihadi fighters defending the close-packed houses and narrow alleyways in the half of the city west of the Tigris River, which is inhabited by some 650,000 civilians.

January 4: A US-led coalition spokesman indicates the number of Western advisers in the battle has doubled to around 450.

Kurdish fighters in village recaptured from ISIS
GETTY ADVANCING Kurdish fighters in village recaptured from ISIS

Around 750,000 people still remain in western Mosul, according to United Nations estimates. During Iraq's assault on IS-posts in the eastern side of the city last month, US -led coalition airstrikes targeted some of the bridges to prevent militants on the west side from sending reinforcements to their eastern counterparts.

DISTURBING footage which appears to show Iraqi troops whipping and torturing civilians has emerged as coalition-backed forces launched a battle to retake Mosul. The lack of bridges has made Iraq's plan to liberate Mosul's western region more challenging.

It has also trained and equipped more than 70,000 Iraqi forces, the statement said. "Hundreds of thousands of civilians might be trapped - maybe for weeks, maybe for months, " said Ms. Grande.

November 13: Iraq says it has recaptured Nimrud, an ancient city southeast of Mosul.

Meanwhile, militants renewed their attacks in eastern Mosul, sending suicide bombers to kill soldiers and disrupt Iraqi operations.

Canada Trade Agreement Wins European Parliament Green Light
Europe remains a preferred trade target for Canadians, coming second only to Canada's largest trading partner, the United States. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will arrive in Europe tomorrow with free trade at the top of his agenda.


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