Op­er­a­tion to re­take Iraqi city Mo­sul from IS be­gins

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

An Iraqi op­er­a­tion to re­cap­ture the city of Mo­sul, the last ma­jor strong­hold of the so-called Is­lamic State in the coun­try, started yes­ter­day. Ar­tillery be­gan fir­ing on the city in a long-awaited as­sault from Kur­dish pesh­merga, Iraqi gov­ern­ment and al­lied forces. Tanks were mov­ing to­wards the city, which has been held by IS since 2014. The UN has ex­pressed “ex­treme con­cern” for the safety of up to 1.5 mil­lion peo­ple in the area. The BBC re­ported that tanks were ad­vanc­ing on the city, throw­ing up clouds of dust. As the op­er­a­tion be­gan, one Kur­dish gen­eral said, “If I am killed to­day, I will die happy be­cause I have done some­thing for my peo­ple.” Kur­dish forces say they have re­taken a num­ber of vil­lages in their ad­vance. Mean­while, pro-gov­ern­ment forces were at­tack­ing from an airbase in Qay­yarah, about 60km to the south, which was re­cap- tured in Au­gust. The US-led coali­tion fight­ing IS is back­ing the as­sault with airstrikes. The op­er­a­tion is com­plex and an­a­lysts say it could last for weeks, if not months. The start of the op­er­a­tion was an­nounced by Prime Min­is­ter Haider al-Abadi in a tele­vised ad­dress early yes­ter­day. “The hour of vic­tory has come,” he said. “God will­ing, we will meet in Mo­sul to cel­e­brate the lib­er­a­tion and your sal­va­tion from ISIS.”


Pesh­merga forces gather in the east of Mo­sul, Iraq, to at­tack Is­lamic State mil­i­tants yes­ter­day

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