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Iraqi forces advance in northern Mosul


Iraq

Iraqi forces advance in northern Mosul

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Iraqi army forces are in the process of retaking the Hadba district of northern Mosul.

Fierce battles are underway with ISIL militants in the area.

Soldiers can be seen posing with ISIL flags.

Iraqi special forces also made further advances against ISIL on Monday.

Officers in the city say they pushed militants from another eastern district and edged closer to army units nearby.







Resistance



Officials say ISIL fighters have carried out four to five car bomb attacks in the area since Friday.





Refugees



Hundreds of Iraqis are fleeing the recently-retaken district of Muthanna in Mosul.

The area is now under the control of Iraqi forces.

But locals fear being caught up in any retaliation from ISIL.



What this means



Monday’s advances in Mosul have consolidated Iraqi forces’ control of several districts close to the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh, east of the river.

The latest advances brought more of eastern Mosul under Iraqi forces’ control.

They come a day after elite units reached the Tigris river.





Where next?



The Counter-Terrorism Service says it is working to seize areas overlooking Mosul University in the city’s northeast.

A nearby district has already been taken over.



The context



The US-backed offensive to drive ISIL from its last major stronghold in Iraq is pressing ahead with renewed vigour.

The offensive against ISIL began in October. It stalled last month but has regained momentum in the last week.

Recapturing Mosul after more than two years of ISIL rule would probably spell the end of the Iraqi wing of the group’s self-declared caliphate.

This spans swathes of Iraq and Syria.



What they are saying



“Since we began (the operation) and entered the area, we have had no losses. ISIL militants went crazy and sent mus many vehicle-borne explosives and suicide bombers,” – Major General Najm al-Jubbouri praises the Iraqi troops involved in the operation.



WATCH



Refugee children say they would rather live in a refugee camp than in war-torn Mosul.




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