Troops pause in ad­vance on Mo­sul to clear neigh­bor­hoods

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Iraqi troops con­sol­i­dated gains in their ad­vance on the north­ern city of Mo­sul on Thurs­day, re­group­ing as they clear neigh­bor­hoods and houses once oc­cu­pied by the Is­lamic State group.

In Mo­sul proper, where troops have a foothold in a sliver of ter­ri­tory in the city’s east, the spe­cial forces con­trol the Zahra neigh­bor­hood, once named af­ter for­mer dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein, and have taken at least half of the Aden neigh­bor­hood, mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said.

The reg­u­lar army’s ninth di­vi­sion is sta­tioned in east Mo­sul’s In­ti­sar neigh­bor­hood, they said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they weren’t au­tho­rized to brief re­porters.

The of­fen­sive has slowed in re­cent days as the forces push into more densely pop­u­lated ar­eas, where they can­not rely as much on airstrikes and shelling be­cause of the risk posed to civil­ians, who have been told to stay in their homes.

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