Air strike dis­ables last Mo­sul bridge

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BAGH­DAD: An air strike has dis­abled the last bridge link­ing east­ern and west­ern Mo­sul, a city Iraqi forces are fight­ing to re­take from ji­hadists, res­i­dents and a pro­vin­cial of­fi­cial said. Iraqi forces have ad­vanced into east­ern Mo­sul - which is di­vided by the Ti­gris River and have re­taken some neigh­bor­hoods on that side of the city, which has been held by the Is­lamic State group for more than two and a half years. But the west­ern part of Mo­sul, the last Iraqi city where IS holds sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory, re­mains in the hands of the ji­hadists.

“Aerial bomb­ing... cut the bridge, and it is not pos­si­ble to cross it,” Mo­sul res­i­dent Abu Ali told AFP. Abu Ali said he had crossed the river on Wed­nes­day in a boat, now the only way to do so, as other bridges were pre­vi­ously dis­abled. Another Mo­sul res­i­dent who did not want to be iden­ti­fied by name said a strike had cut the bridge, as did an of­fi­cial from Nin­eveh prov­ince, of which Mo­sul is the cap­i­tal. “Al-Atiq bridge was tar­geted by an air strike,” mak­ing it un­us­able, said Hashim Briskani, the deputy head of the Nin­eveh prov­ince se­cu­rity com­mit­tee. Briskani said it had been the last bridge con­nect­ing east and west Mo­sul.

Abu Ali and Briskani both said the strike was on Tues­day. The US-led coali­tion car­ry­ing out air strikes against IS said it had “dis­abled two bridges” in the Mo­sul area on Tues­day, and a third the day be­fore. IS over­ran large ar­eas north and west of Bagh­dad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since re­gained much of the ter­ri­tory they lost. — AFP

MO­SUL: Iraqi pro-gov­ern­ment forces patrol the east­ern part of this em­bat­tled city yes­ter­day, dur­ing an on­go­ing mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion against Is­lamic State (IS) group mil­i­tants. — AFP

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