Iraqi forces launch large-scale push to retake western Mosul from ISIS

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation on Sunday to retake the western half of Mosul and dislodge Islamic State militants. It is the latest phase in a 4-month-old offensive to retake Iraq’s second largest city. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operation on state TV, saying government forces were moving to “liberate the people of Mosul from Daesh oppression and terrorism forever,” using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. He called on security forces to deal with civilians properly and to respect human rights. Iraqi forces declared eastern…

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Isil ‘kills 50 deserters and goes on recruitment drive for child soldiers’ in Mosul, as Iraqi forces recapture six districts

Isil militants have killed hundreds of people, including 50 deserters and 180 former Iraqi government employees, around their stronghold of Mosul, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Friday. The 50 were executed for desertion on Monday at the Ghazlani military base in Mosul, and the 180 died on Wednesday as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was retreating from Kokjali town, she told a regular UN briefing in Geneva, citing “credible reports” from multiple sources, including from Isil-occupied areas. The militants transported 1,600 abducted civilians from the…

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