- Title: Islamic State hits back to slow Iraqi forces in Mosul
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ (DECEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DARK SMOKE RISING ABOVE BUILDINGS (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSION) MILITARY VEHICLE DRIVING DOWN ROAD VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR MILITARY VEHICLE CLOUD OF SMOKE ABOVE BUILDINGS (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE AND CALL FOR PRAYER) TWO MILITARY VEHICLES PARKED NEAR BUILDINGS, SOLDIERS STANDING NEARBY (AUDIO OF EXPLOSION AND GUNFIRE) SOLDIERS STANDING ON STREET AND TALKING FOGGY SKY ABOVE CITY (AUDIO OF GUNFIRE) MORE OF DARK SMOKE RISING ABOVE BUILDINGS
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 10:49
- Keywords: Iraq Ali Rash Mosul IS
- Location: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BLXGSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Islamic State fighters have hit back in Ali Rash about 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Mosul on Monday (December 5), taking advantage of cloudy skies which put on hold U.S.-led air support.
Dark smoke rising above the city could be seen while air strikes, artillery and gunfire could be heard.
Retreating in the face of a seven-week Iraqi military assault on their Mosul stronghold, Islamic State has conducted a series of counter-attacks since Friday (December 2) night.
The jihadist fighters struck elite Iraqi troops spearheading the offensive in eastern Mosul, and attacked security forces to the south and west of the city.
On Sunday (December 4) two militants tried to attack army barracks in the western province of Anbar. Police and army sources said the attackers were killed before they reached the base.
Iraqi officials say they continue to gain ground against the militants who still hold about three-quarters of the country's largest northern city.
But the fierce resistance means the military's campaign is likely to stretch well into next year as it seeks to recapture a city where the jihadists are dug in among civilians and using a network of tunnels to launch waves of attacks.
The capture of Mosul, the largest city under control of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is seen as crucial towards dismantling the caliphate the militants declared over parts of the two countries in 2014.
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