Iraqi spe­cial forces en­ter town of an­cient ru­ins near Mosul

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

Iraqi troops en­tered a town south of Mosul on Sun­day where Is­lamic State mil­i­tants de­stroyed arte­facts at a nearby an­cient Assyr­ian ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site, while spe­cial forces fended off sui­cide bombers dur­ing a cau­tious ad­vance into the north­ern city.

The push into Nim­rud was the most sig­nif­i­cant gain in sev­eral days for gov­ern­ment forces, po­ten­tially open­ing up the area for teams to as­sess the dam­age done to the famed ru­ins just out­side the town.

Troops are con­verg­ing from sev­eral fronts on Mosul, Iraq’s sec­ond-largest city and the big­gest ur­ban area un­der IS con­trol, as part of an of­fen­sive launched last month.

The spe­cial forces have ad­vanced the far­thest so far and hold a hand­ful of districts on the city’s eastern edge, but their progress has slowed in the face of fierce re­sis­tance.

It was un­clear if they had lib­er­ated the nearby 13th-cen­tury B.C. ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site, which IS de­stroyed with ex­plo­sives ac­cord­ing to re­leased videos.

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