- Title: Head of Iraq's special forces hails progess against IS in Mosul
- Date: 7th January 2017
- Summary: ZUHOOR NEIGHBOURHOOD, MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 7, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF RECENTLY RECAPTURED ZUHOOR NEIGHBOURHOOD COUNTER TERRORISM SERVICE (CTS) SOLDIER STANDING ON A MOVING HUMVEE VARIOUS OF CTS ARMOURED CARS AND SOLDIERS STANDING ON ROAD SOLDIER STANDING ON HUMVEE VARIOUS OF BLACK PLUMES OF SMOKE RISING FROM ISLAMIC STATE'S SITE RESIDENTS STANDING ON STREET CTS HUMVEES PARKED OUTSIDE MAKESHIFT BASE VARIOUS OF CTS COMMANDERS SITTING AND LOOKING AT MAP MAP STUDIED BY COMMANDERS COMMANDERS SITTING AT MEETING IRAQ'S JOINT OPERATIONS COMMANDER, LIEUTENANT GENERAL TALIB SHAGHATI AND OTHER COMMANDERS LEAVING THE BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQ'S JOINT OPERATIONS COMMANDER, LIEUTENANT GENERAL TALIB SHAGHATI, SAYING: "Two days ago we mentioned that this operation is moving according to specific plans, and maintains the element of surprise. Now everyone knows how our heroes surprised the terrorists, Daesh, by crossing the Khosr river and reaching their targets in the Muthanna and other neighbourhoods. It was a surprising move at a surprising time and in surprising direction." VARIOUS OF ARMY VEHICLES IN THE AREA COVERED WITH PUDDLES OF WATER RESIDENT OF THE AREA, ABU AHMAD, STANDING WITH HIS CHILDREN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF THE AREA, ABU AHMAD, SAYING: "The situation was very difficult here inside Mosul. Living conditions and security was bad. We could not leave our homes or the neighbourhood." VARIOUS OF STREETS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
- Embargoed: 22nd January 2017 16:28
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul Zuhoor CTS
- Location: ZUHOOR NEIGHBOURHOOD IN MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: ZUHOOR NEIGHBOURHOOD IN MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y2Z5FR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi army military leaders met in the recently recaptured Zuhoor neighbourhood in eastern Mosul on Saturday (January 7), looking over maps and discussing the progress of the ongoing offensive.
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.
"Now everyone knows how our heroes surprised the terrorists, Daesh, by crossing the Khosr river and reaching their targets in the Muthanna and other neighbourhoods," Iraq's joint operations commander, Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati said.
Shaghati is also head of the elite counter-terrorism service (CTS) forces which using night-vision equipment crossed the Khosr river, a tributary that runs perpendicular to the Tigris through eastern Mosul, via makeshift earth bridges after IS had destroyed permanent ones.
Elite Iraqi troops' first night-time raid has driven the militants out of several areas east of the river in what is their last major stronghold in Iraq.
Residents of the recently recaptured Zuhoor neighbourhood said the situation under Islamic State was very difficult.
"Living conditions, security was bad. We could not leave our homes or the neighbourhood," said Abu Ahmed.
CTS pushed into Mosul from the east in late October and made swift advances but regular army troops tasked with advancing from the north and south made slower progress and the operation stalled for several weeks.
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.
A second phase of the nearly 12-week campaign to drive Islamic State out of its last major city stronghold in Iraq began a week ago. The Mosul offensive is the biggest in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
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