Iraqi forces recapture new neighborhood from IS militants

Miranda GreerApr 20, 2017

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed in clashes with ISIL militants in western Mosul, an Iraqi officer said Monday.

A Kurdish fighter walks by a wall bearing a drawing of the flag of the Islamic State (IS) group in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, in the Nineveh Province.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL Scumbags, whatever) has fired a rocket loaded with chlorine in western Mosul, Iraq, hitting several soldiers with the gas, according to an AP report. "There are discussions and dialogue between messengers representing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and representing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri".

They also announce that the targeted location was in fact a "fighting position" for Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allies in the US mission to fight the Islamic State. But Iraq's United Nations ambassador, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, said later there was no evidence for that.

"There's still another significant number of areas within Iraq that will. need to be cleared of Daesh, and. the Iraqi security forces are getting themselves ready for that eventuality - they know that it's coming", he said.

Troops have had the famous centuries-old al-Nuri Mosque leaning minaret in their sights since last month, as capturing it would mark a symbolic victory over the insurgents.

However, U.S. -led coalition forces have made major gains against the extremist group, having liberated eastern Mosul.

A police spokesman said the troops were closing in on the mosque without indicating the remaining distance.

But "the final neighbourhoods will be the most hard to recapture, especially the Old City and the remaining neighbourhoods in northwestern Mosul", Martin said. "We have to watch every single house to avoid attackers on motorcycles packed with explosives", he added.

“We're reaching families who have fled and families who have stayed [but] Mosul has pushed us to our operational limits, ” said the Humanitarian Coordinator.

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