'Gut-Busting' Fighting in Mosul as ISIS Increases Use of Human Shields

"As of March 31, they only held 6.8% of Iraqi territory", said Rasool, the spokesman of the Joint Operations Command coordinating the operation, Gulf News reported.

IS still controls the large towns of Hawijah and Tal Afar as well as remote areas along the border with Syria in western Iraq.

Fighting in Mosul has been raging since last October and has turned into a deadly, dirty and bloody affair. Most of the civilians injured in Daesh attacks in Mosul are sent to the Western Hospital in Erbil due to the ongoing operations in the region.

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Throughout the Mosul fight, ISIS has been executing jihadists who flee the battle.

According to a report published by the Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, the strike targeted several civilian homes in a residential area of Mosul's al-Yarmouk neighborhood, which was recently liberated from Daesh.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, announced the start of an offensive on February 19 to drive extremist militants out of the western side of Mosul, locally known as the right bank of Tigris River which bisects the city.

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Dorrian said USA, coalition and partner forces were edging towards victory in the campaign to defeat ISIS. "And a lot of the reason for that is the coalition airstrikes that have supported our partners as they've taken that territory back".

The federal police said in a statement on Tuesday they have been reinforcing their positions in Western Mosul in preparation for a push on the al-Nuri Mosque where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.

There is only a "shrinking cordon" in Mosul where ISIS can operate, Dorrian said.

Trump's United Nations envoy says removal of Syria's Bashar al-Assad a priority
We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore. "I don't know what his thought process was in 2013", she said. And then we've got to go and make sure that we actually see a leader that will protect his people.

But their progress has been slowed by improvised explosive devices and snipers as the troops engage in house-to-house fighting. "They aren't going anywhere".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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