- Title: Iraqi forces make advances in Mosul's eastern Intisar district
- Date: 1st January 2017
- Summary: MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 1, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM BUILDINGS IN THE INTISAR DISTRICT OF EASTERN MOSUL / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE MILITARY HELICOPTER FLYING OVERHEAD VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM LOCATIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD FEDERAL POLICE FORCE ON ROAD VARIOUS OF A FAMILY FLEEING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WAVING THEIR ARMS VARIOUS OF A GROUP OF CIVILIANS FLEEING THE AREA FAMILY FLEEING THE AREA MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL POLICE HELPING AN ELDERLY WOMAN WITH HER BAGS VARIOUS OF CIVILIANS AND FEDERAL POLICE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD / CHILDREN HOLDING UP VICTORY SIGN MAN CARRYING A CHILD ON HIS SHOULDERS AS HE PREPARES TO LEAVE THE AREA FAMILIES FLEEING ELDERLY MAN AND CHILDREN PUSHED ON A CART VARIOUS OF FEDERAL POLICE FORCE IN THE AREA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEDERAL POLICE OFFICER, MAJOR GENERAL ALI LAMI, SAYING: "On the fourth day, our troops were able to liberate the Intisar neighbourhood as well as the Saha neighbourhood. They are now clearing the Salam neighbourhood, they are clashing with the enemy. Large numbers of our enemy were killed yesterday, and god willing the defeat broke their back. Today we will continue our advance." FEDERAL POLICE LEAVING BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEDERAL POLICE OFFICER, BRIGADIER-GENERAL SHALAN ALI SALEH, SAYING: "Thank God, our troops are advancing according to the plan set by the joint operations command. We are moving slowly to adhere to the instructions of the army chief of staff, who asked that we protect civilians. Most of these areas contain civilians, so we are avoiding the use of rockets and mortars to avoid civilian death." VARIOUS OF FEDERAL POLICE MEMBERS GATHERED VARIOUS OF A MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL POLICE PREPARING MORTAR SHELLS FEDERAL POLICE OFFICERS STANDING BY CRATES ROCKET LAUNCHERS GENERAL VIEW OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE
- Embargoed: 16th January 2017 13:49
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul Islamic State offensive Intisar
- Location: MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015X90A4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Officers from Iraq's Federal Police said they had recaptured the Intisar neighbourhood of eastern Mosul from Islamic State fighters on Sunday (January 1), as hundreds of civilians fled the area.
Since the U.S.-backed offensive began on Oct. 17, elite forces have retaken a quarter of Mosul in the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the group would be driven out of the country by April.
The second phase of the campaign launched on Thursday (December 29) following weeks of deadlock and has pushed Islamic State out of several more areas despite fierce resistance.
The fourth day of the renewed push saw incremental advances on the eastern and southeastern fronts.
A federal police official told Reuters that Iraqi forces had taken near total control of Intisar and Siha neighbourhoods, and were clearing Salam.
"On the fourth day, our troops were able to liberate the Intisar neighbourhood as well as the Saha neighbourhood. They are now clearing the Salam neighbourhood, they are clashing with the enemy. Large numbers of our enemy were killed yesterday, and god willing the defeat broke their back. Today we will continue our advance," said Major General Ali Lami at a forward base in Intisar.
Although the militants are vastly outnumbered in Mosul, they have embedded themselves among residents, hindering Iraqi forces who are trying to avoid civilian casualties. Despite food and water shortages, most civilians have stayed in their homes rather than fleeing as had been expected.
Thousands more people have fled their homes since the military's new push began, many under the cover of darkness to avoid detection by Islamic State.
The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for the group's self-styled caliphate in it areas seized in 2014, but the militants would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
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