- Title: Iraqi forces prepare to fight IS in western Mosul after re-capturing eastern side
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: MOSUL, IRAQ (JANUARY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) SOLDIERS STANDING ON TOP OF MILITARY VEHICLE FORCES ON TOP VEHICLE VEHICLE DRIVING THROUGH MACHINE GUN FIRING FROM MILITARY VEHICLE TOWARDS ISLAMIC STATE POSITION ACROSS RIVER MACHINE GUN FIRE EMBLEM WITH IMAGE OF SCORPION READING: (Arabic) RAPID RESPONSE COMMAND VEHICLE MACHINE GUN FIRE MEMBER OF RAPID RESPONSE FORCE LOOKING THROUGH BINOCULARS ACROSS THE RIVER FORCE MEMBER POSITIONING WEAPONS AND FIRING ACROSS RIVER FORCE MEMBERS WALKING FORCE MEMBER LOOKING THROUGH LENS OF WEAPON SHACKS AND HOUSES WHERE ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTERS ARE BELIEVED TO BE VIEW OF THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER VARIOUS OF RAPID RESPONSE FORCE MEMBERS ON ROOFTOP (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LOUAY ABBAS, MEMBER OF RAPID RESPONSE FORCE, SAYING: ''Currently the rapid response division are on the banks of the Tigris river, at the end of the eastern bank facing the western side near the Bouseif area and Mosul airport. We are monitoring the movement of the enemy, Islamic State. Last night they had some movements which we responded to with heavy weapons and our role as snipers is to monitor their movement and provide the officers with information on their location and movement so they can be dealt with by either the artillery or rockets.'' FORCE MEMBER LOOKING THROUGH LENS FIGHTERS FIRING GUN FIRING VARIOUS OF FIGHTERS FIRING FROM ROOFTOP VIEW OF RIVER FIGHTER FIRING ROCKET VIEW OF RIVER VARIOUS OF FIGHTERS FIRING MACHINE GUNS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CAPTAIN ALI HASSAN RADI SAYING: ''Following the liberation and clearing and killing of Islamic State fighters in this area, which is considered a supply line because it is close to Bouseif and the airport, we are present here in this area by the river bank. We have been monitoring the movement of the enemy in the last three days and we have dealt with the targets that are within the range of our weapons and last night we saw some movement of the enemy. They have begun to build sand berms to reinforce defence positions but our forces will continue to monitor them.'' RAPID RESPONSE TEAM FORCES STANDING BY VEHICLE WHICH THEY SAID BELONGED TO ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTERS FORCE MEMBER CARRYING WHAT THEY SAY WAS EXPLOSIVE BELT FORCE MEMBERS RUNNING FOR COVER BEFORE DETONATING EXPLOSIVE BELT IRAQI FLAG
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 16:13
- Keywords: Iraq battle Mosul fighers war river Islamic State Rapid Response
- Location: MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZM0BIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraq's special forces in southern Mosul attacked Islamic State positions across the Tigris river on Wednesday (January 18) as the battle to regain the city shifts to the western side.
Forces belonging to the Rapid Response RR unit in the district of Yarimja fired machine guns and rockets across the river towards what they say are Islamic State positions close to Mosul airport in the western side.
On Wednesday, the Counter-Terrorism Service CTS said it has completed its mission of regaining control of the eastern Mosul area it was tasked with retaking.
Regular army troops were still fighting the ultra-hardline militants in northeast Mosul, however, according to a military statement. A few parts of the bank further north had yet to be fully taken.
Bridges across the Tigris, which bisects Mosul from north to south, have been hit by U.S.-led warplanes to prevent IS reinforcements joining the fighting in eastern neighbourhoods, and more recently by the militants trying to block a future westward advance by the military.
If the U.S.-backed campaign is successful it would probably spell the end of the Iraqi side of the jihadist group's self-styled caliphate, which also extends well into neighbouring Syria, that it declared during a lightning offensive in 2014.
The Iraqi army, special forces and elite police units have operated in tandem to capture different areas of eastern Mosul. The army is mostly deployed in the north, the CTS in the east, and the federal police in the south.
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