- Title: Iraqi forces gain control of strategic Mosul hospital -army officer
- Date: 8th January 2017
- Summary: WAHDA, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 8, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF SALAM HOSPITAL / IRAQI FLAG FLYING RAPID RESPONSE UNIT SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR HOSPITAL DAMAGE CAUSED TO HOSPITAL FACADE VARIOUS OF DAMAGE NEAR HOSPITAL ENTRANCE VARIOUS OF A SIGN READING (Arabic): "SALAM EDUCATIONAL HOSPITAL" COLONEL HISHAM ABDELKATHEM OF RAPID RESPONSE UNIT SPEAKING TO SOLDIERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF RAPID RESPONSE UNIT, COLONEL HISHAM ABDELKATHEM, SAYING: "As soon as our troops began advancing, the defence of Daesh began to collapse. Most of the militants fled the area, leaving behind explosives, suicide belts and the bodies of those killed. At first they tried to resist, but thank God our troops demonstrated their excellent training and precision." VARIOUS OF A SOLDIER WALKING THROUGH HOSPITAL DAMAGED HALLWAY / SIGN READING (Arabic and English): "LABORATORIES" VARIOUS OF A WHEELCHAIR SITTING AMID WRECKAGE VARIOUS OF IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES LEFT BEHIND BY ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS DAMAGED HALLWAY SIGN SHOWING VARIOUS HOSPITAL DEPARTMENTS
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 15:59
- Keywords: Wahda Mosul Iraq hospital Salam Rapid Response Unit Hisham Abdelkathem
- Location: WAHDA, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: WAHDA, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015Y7ZARR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi troops seized the strategically significant Salam hospital in Mosul on Saturday (January 7) after fierce a fierce battle against Islamic State militants, an army officer said on Sunday (January 8).
In December the soldiers first seized the hospital, less than a mile (just over 1 km) from the Tigris river running through central Mosul, but pulled back after they were attacked by six suicide car bombs and heavy fire, according to a statement by the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces.
A Rapid Response unit officer told Reuters on Sunday that the troops had finally secured control of the hospital, in the Wahda area, and that the militants have fled the area.
"As soon as our troops began advancing, the defence of Daesh began to collapse. Most of the militants fled the area, leaving behind explosives, suicide belts and the bodies of those killed. At first they tried to resist, but thank God our troops demonstrated their excellent training and precision," Colonel Hisham Abdelkathem said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi special forces reached the eastern bank of the Tigris river in Mosul on Sunday for the first time in a U.S.-backed assault on Islamic State, military officials said.
It was the first time Iraqi forces had reached the river in the city itself since the operation to drive IS out of Mosul began in October. Iraqi forces have so far only penetrated eastern districts of Mosul, which is bisected by the river. The city is Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq.
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