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Elite Iraq units link up for Mosul assault: Officers

Elite Iraq units link up for Mosul assault: Officers

Iraqi forces launched the massive operation to retake Mosul on October 17, eventually pushing into the city from the east.

"The second phase of liberating the left bank in Mosul was launched, and our forces began advancing toward Al-Quds neighborhood", Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a senior officer in Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP.

Circles of contrails made by warplanes from US -led coalition flying missions in support of Iraqi troops and police in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016.

Islamic State militant corpses litter southeast Mosul neighborhood streets following intense fighting with Iraqi forces.

Iraqi troops backed by the US -led coalition's airstrikes and artillery pushed deeper into eastern Mosul on Thursday in a multipronged assault after a two-week lull.

It said it took all reports of civilian casualties seriously and would carry out a probe. "No civilians were in the area and minimal damage was reported to the buildings", reads a statement from the coalition public affairs desk.

Broncos eliminated from playoffs following uninspired 33-10 loss to Chiefs
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The Iraqi government does not release casualty figures and has restricted access to the front lines for journalists in recent weeks, but attrition rates have been high, according to soldiers and commanders.

That attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The United Nations says some 120,000 people have fled Mosul since the offensive began.

Iraqi security forces began the assault on Mosul in October, but they have faced a brutal urban battle and have cleared less than half the city of the terrorists who have held it for more than two years. Despite liberating almost 40 neighborhoods in Mosul, the operation to retake the city has been slower than expected with the Iraqi army still struggling to enter the more densely populated central parts of the city.

Meanwhile on Thursday, attacks in and around Baghdad killed at least 13 people and wounded 35 others, police said.

Information for this article was contributed by Hamza Hendawi and Murtada Faraj of The Associated Press; and by Mustafa Salim, Loveday Morris and Paul Schemm of The Washington Post.


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