U.S.-backed Iraqi troops press IS in key strong­hold

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NEWS -

BAGHDAD >> U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Is­lamic State strong­hold in Mo­sul on Sun­day, launch­ing a ma­jor bat­tle for the Old City where some 150,000 civil­ians are be­lieved to be trapped and risk be­ing used as hu­man shields by the ex­trem­ists.

The push for the Old City is the fi­nal ma­jor fight of an eight-month cam­paign to drive the mil­i­tants from Iraq’s sec­ond largest city. The ex­trem­ists are ex­pected to make their last stand in the densely pop­u­lated quar­ter with nar­row, wind­ing al­leys.

Iraqi special forces, the reg­u­lar army and Fed­eral Po­lice are tak­ing part in the op­er­a­tion to re­take the Old City, said Lt. Gen. Ab­dul-Amir Rasheed Yar Al­lah, who com­mands army op­er­a­tions in Ninevah prov­ince.

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