Forces poised on eastern edge of Mosul in liberation assault
BAZWAYA, IRAQ >> Iraqi special forces stood poised to enter Mosul in an offensive to drive out Islamic State militants after sweeping into the last village on the city’s eastern edge Monday while fending off suicide car bombs without losing a soldier.
Armored vehicles, including Abrams tanks, drew fire from mortars and small arms as they moved on the village of Bazwaya in an assault that began at dawn, while artillery and airstrikes hit IS positions.
By evening, the fighting had stopped and units took up positions less than a mile from Mosul’s eastern border and about 5 miles from the center, two weeks into the offensive to retake Iraq’s second-largest city.
“We will enter the city of Mosul soon and liberate it from Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of Iraq’s special forces, using an Arabic acronym for the extremists. He added that more than 20 militants had been killed while his forces suffered only one light injury.