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Iraqi army opens new front in the battle for Mosul

New front opens in the battle to retake Mosul from ISIL

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Iraqi army opens new front in the battle for Mosul

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A new front in the military offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL occupation has opened in the northwest of the city.

An Iraqi armoured division is advancing towards the historic old city where militants are holed up.

The 9th Armoured Division and the Rapid Response units of the interior ministry are in action in the northwest.

This latest assault reinforces the work of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and Interior Ministry Federal Police troops who are battling in the south of the city.

Such are the difficulties involved in combat in such a cramped and labyrinthine urban area that progress is painfully slow.

The US is providing essential air and ground support as the coalition attempts to pry ISIL out of the city, the groups de-facto capital In Iraq.

The black flag of ISIL has fluttered over the Grand al-Nuri Mosque since 2014.