- Title: Iraqi forces make advances in Mosul
- Date: 5th January 2017
- Summary: MITHAQ DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) RAPID RESPONSE UNIT SOLDIERS FIRING THEIR WEAPONS FROM BEHIND ARMOURED VEHICLE VARIOUS OF ARMOURED VEHICLES MOVING (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE) VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS AND ARMOURED VEHICLES (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE) RAPID RESPONSE FORCES SPOKESMEN, FIRST LIEUTENANT RAMI HASSAN, WALKING IN STREET FOLLOWED BY SOLDIER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RAPID RESPONSE FORCES SPOKESMAN, FIRST LIEUTENANT RAMI HASSAN, SAYING: "The rapid response forces began its operation in the Wehda neighbourhood, God willing, in a few hours we will complete our assignment. We have secured pathways for families wanting to leave the area. We will continue our advance and offer what help we can to the families." MAN CARRYING WEAPON AND CHILD WALK IN STREET VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS AND SOLDIERS STANDING IN STREET RESIDENTS CARRYING BELONGINGS AND LEAVING BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RAPID RESPONSE FORCES SOLDIER, HABEEB ALAA, SAYING: "The enemy tried to use vehicle borne explosives but they were unsuccessful. We destroyed all the cars they directed towards us, and we gained control over the situation. Thank God we have completed our assignment today, and tomorrow we will continue our advance in this area." VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS IN THE STREET ARMOURED VEHICLES DRIVING DOWN A STREET (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE) RAPID RESPONSE UNIT SOLDIERS FIRING THEIR WEAPONS FROM BEHIND ARMOURED VEHICLE
- Embargoed: 20th January 2017 13:26
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul Mithaq Wehda
- Location: MITHAQ DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: MITHAQ DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XT0VGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Members of the Iraqi Rapid Response unit say they advanced towards the Wehda neighbourhood of eastern Mosul on Thursday (January 5), after clearing the nearby Mithaq district.
Heavy fire was exchanged between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, with the second push into the city underway.
Rapid Response spokesman, First Lieutenant Rami Hassan said the troops gave assistance to civilian population in the area.
"We have secured pathways for families wanting to leave the area. We will continue our advance and offer what help we can to the families," he said.
Habeeb Alaa, a soldier with the forces said that Islamic State militants resisted the army advance with car bombs and mortar shells but were unsuccessful.
"We destroyed all the cars they directed towards us, and we gained control over the situation," he said.
The Mosul assault, involving a 100,000-strong ground force of Iraqi government troops, members of the autonomous Kurdish security forces and mainly Shi'ite militiamen, is the most complex battle in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The commander of a U.S.-led coalition backing the Iraqi offensive told Reuters on Wednesday (January 4) that increased momentum was due largely to increased coordination among the army and security forces.
He said the Iraqis had vastly improved their ability to defend against Islamic State car bombs.
According to Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati, Iraq's joint operations commander, Iraqi forces have retaken around 70 percent of eastern Mosul from the militants and expect to reach the river dividing the city in the coming days.
In its 12th week, the offensive has gained momentum since Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition renewed their push for the city a week ago, clearing several more eastern districts despite fierce resistance.
The western half of the city remains under the full control of Islamic State, which is fighting with snipers and suicide car bombs.
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