Iraqi forces move to­ward east Mo­sul

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IRAQ’S forces re­sumed their ad­vance on the Is­lamic State group’s bas­tion of Mo­sul yes­ter­day, aim­ing to po­si­tion them­selves a few hun­dred me­tres from the city’s east­ern lim­its.

An of­fi­cer with the elite Coun­terT­er­ror­ism Ser­vice (CTS) told AFP re­porters out­side the re­cently re­taken town of Bartalla that only two vil­lages re­mained on the road to Mo­sul.

“The tar­get is to re­take Bazwaya and Gog­jali, the last two vil­lages be­fore Mo­sul,” he said.

“If we man­age that, we’ll only be a few hun­dred me­tres from Mo­sul.”

As an air­craft struck a sus­pected IS mor­tar po­si­tion in the dis­tance, the of­fi­cer’s con­voy of Humvees sprayed gun­fire across the arid plain to­ward an area still held by ji­hadists.

The Joint Op­er­a­tions Com­mand co­or­di­nat­ing Iraq’s war on the IS said CTS and army forces launched a drive “to ad­vance to­ward the left bank of the city of Mo­sul from three axes”.

Mo­sul is split by the Ti­gris River. Iraqis re­fer to the east­ern half of the city as the left bank and the west­ern side as the right bank.

Once the ini­tial phase is over, Iraqi forces are ex­pected to be­siege Mo­sul, at­tempt to open safe cor­ri­dors for the mil­lion-plus civil­ians still be­lieved to live there, and breach the city to take on die-hard ji­hadists in street bat­tles.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tions have been fight­ing against the clock to build up the ca­pac­ity to han­dle an ex­pected ex­o­dus from the city.

The United Na­tions says up to 1 mil­lion peo­ple could be dis­placed in the com­ing weeks. –

Photo: AFP

Iraqi para­mil­i­tary forces have cap­tured sev­eral vil­lages south­west of Mo­sul from the Is­lamic State.

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