Iraqi forces move to re­take an­other Mosul neigh­bor­hood

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

Iraqi troops gained a foothold Tues­day in an­other neigh­bor­hood in the north­ern city of Mosul af­ter fierce bat­tles against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants dug in be­hind heavy for­ti­fi­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to a top Iraqi com­man­der.

A new anal­y­sis, mean­while, has found that there is a high risk that IS will de­ploy chem­i­cal weapons against Mosul civil­ians or Iraqi troops fight­ing to re­take the city. Ac­cord­ing to IHS Markit, the ex­trem­ist group has used chem­i­cal weapons at least 52 times in Iraq and Syria since 2014, in­clud­ing 19 times in the Mosul area alone.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fad­hil, of the Iraqi spe­cial forces, said IS fighters were fir­ing rock­ets and mor­tars as his forces “cau­tiously” ad­vanced in the densely pop­u­lated Zo­hour neigh­bor­hood. “There are too many civil­ians still liv­ing there,” he said.

Iraqi troops be­gan their siege of Zo­hour on Sun­day as they for­ti­fied their po­si­tions in neigh­bor­hoods al­ready re­taken in eastern Mosul.

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