Joint Iraqi forces poised to en­ter Mo­sul to fight ISIS

Fiji Sun - - World News - Jy­otip@fi­

Mo­sul: Iraqi spe­cial forces stood poised to en­ter Mo­sul in an of­fen­sive to drive out fight­ers of the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Syria group af­ter sweep­ing into the last vil­lage on the city’s eastern edge on Mon­day. The troops said they fended off sui­cide car bombs with­out los­ing a soldier. Ar­moured ve­hi­cles drew fire from mor­tars and small arms as they moved on the vil­lage of Bazwaya in an as­sault that be­gan at dawn, while ar­tillery and air strikes hit ISIL, or ISIS, po­si­tions. By evening, the fight­ing had stopped and units took up po­si­tions less than a mile from Mo­sul’s eastern bor­der and about 5 miles (8 kilo­me­tres) from the cen­tre, two weeks into the of­fen­sive to re­take Iraq’s sec­ond-largest city. “We will en­ter the city of Mo­sul soon and lib­er­ate it from Daesh,” said Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Haider Fad­hil of Iraq’s spe­cial forces, us­ing an Ara­bic acro­nym for the armed group. He added that more than 20 ISIS fight­ers had been killed while his forces suf­fered only one light in­jury from a fall. Three sui­cide car bombers had tried to stop the ad­vance be­fore the army took con­trol of Bazwaya, but the troops de­stroyed them, he said. The army said an­other unit, its 9th Di­vi­sion, had moved to­ward Mo­sul and was about 5 kilo­me­tres (3 miles) from its eastern out­skirts, the neigh­bour­hood of Gog­jali. At one point, a Humvee packed with ex­plo­sives raced ahead and tried to ram the ap­proach­ing forces, but Iraqi troops opened fire, blow­ing it up. Plumes of smoke rose from ISIS po­si­tions hit by ar­tillery and air strikes that the army said came from the US-led coali­tion. Al Jazeera

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