Troops pause in advance on Mosul to clear neighborhoods
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.