Iraqi forces advance in Mosul under fire, one soldier killed
MOSUL, IRAQ >> Iraqi troops advanced cautiously into eastern districts of Mosul on Friday, facing stiff resistance from Islamic State militants a day after they paused their assault due to poor visibility, officers said.
Airstrikes, automatic fire and artillery were heard from dawn, and one soldier was reported killed in clashes. Civilians, some of them wounded, could be seen fleeing the fighting.
According to the officers, the Iraqi forces aim to take complete control of the city’s Tahrir area and from there move into the adjacent Muharabeen district. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Iraqi forces launched the longawaited operation to retake Mosul a month ago but have only advanced into a few eastern districts. The troops have faced fierce resistance, with snipers, mortar fire and Islamic State suicide bombers driving armor-plated vehicles packed with explosives.