Iraqi special forces enter town of ancient ruins near Mosul
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.