Bat­tle for Mo­sul

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

MO­SUL: Iraqi forces be­gan an as­sault on Sun­day on Mo­sul’s Old City, at­tempt­ing to break into a maze of nar­row streets and al­ley­ways where hun­dreds of hard­ened Is­lamic State mil­i­tants are ex­pected to make a last bloody stand.

Clouds of smoke rose above the his­toric city cen­tre in the early hours of the morn­ing as a bar­rage of ar­tillery and US-led coali­tion jets struck mil­i­tant tar­gets. He­li­copters strafed the area as elite Iraqi coun­tert­er­ror­ism forces pre­pared to storm it on foot.

“They are be­sieged, they will fight to the death,” said Master Sergeant Latif Om­ran, near the front line.

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