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…

Read More

Mosul assault: Iraq troops make headway against IS

Iraqi government forces have seized several villages as they move towards an assault on the last area held by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul. Hundreds of military vehicles, backed by air power, rolled across the desert towards IS positions early on Sunday. The progress on Sunday in the south of the city, the second biggest in Iraq, takes them within striking distance of Mosul airport. Fears have been voiced about the safety of many thousands of trapped civilians. The offensive was formally announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider…

Read More

Mosul battle: Kurdish forces push into IS-held Bashiqa

Iraqi Kurdish forces have fought their way into a town held by Islamic State militants north-east of Mosul. Hundreds of Peshmerga fighters, backed by artillery and US-led coalition air strikes, advanced on Bashiqa from three directions on Monday morning. By late afternoon, they were moving from house to house clearing the town, a Peshmerga statement said. Meanwhile, the Iraqi military said it had found a mass grave filled with some 100 decapitated bodies south of Mosul. The grave was located in the grounds of an agricultural college on the outskirts…

Read More

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…

Read More