- Title: Iraqi artillery pounds IS targets southeast of Mosul
- Date: 8th December 2016
- Summary: KOKJALI, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ (DECEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) ARTILLERY / MUNITION ON GROUND AND SOLDIERS NEARBY THREE ARTILLERY GUNS DEPLOYED AND READY TO FIRE ARTILLERY FIRING / SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR / SMOKE COMING FROM BARREL OF ARTILLERY GUN SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR SHELLS OF ARTILLERY SOLDIER LOADING ARTILLERY GUN / ANOTHER SOLDIER LOOKING THROUGH SCOPE OF ARTILLERY SOLDIER PUSHING ARTILLERY SHELL INTO BARREL WITH IRON ROD ARTILLERY FIRING BARREL OF ARTILLERY FIRING / SMOKE COMING OUT SOLDIERS / ARTILLERY SHELLS ON GROUND SOLDIER CARRYING ARTILLERY MUNITION AND INSERTING IT INTO BARREL OF ARTILLERY / SOLDIER LOOKING THROUGH SCOPE OF ARTILLERY TO ADJUST PARAMETERS ARTILLERY FIRING ARTLLERY FIRING / SOLDIERS NEARBY AND MUNITION ON GROUND VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS NEAR ARTILLERY MUNITION VARIOUS OF ARTILLERY FIRING SOLDIERS STANDING NEAR ARTILLERY VARIOUS OF ARTILLERY IN AREA VARIOUS OF HELICOPTER FLYING ABOVE VARIOUS OF CONVOY OF U.S. MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING ALONG ROAD
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2016 10:51
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul ISIS Islamic State fighting artillery
- Location: MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA0015C0WYTJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Iraqi army pounded Islamic State targets in Mosul on Thursday (December 8) as part of their bid to drive out the militant group from the city.
The artillery of the army's Ninth Armoured Division pounded the district of al-Quds from the army's positions in the nearby district of Kokjali.
The long-awaited attack aims to relieve pressure on Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) troops who have spearheaded the fighting in eastern Mosul for the last month and have come up against the militants' lethal defences.
Officers say they are engaged in fierce urban warfare, facing hundreds of suicide car bombers, snipers and militants exploiting a network of tunnels underneath residential areas to launch counter-attacks.
Meanwhile, Western-backed Iraqi forces have begun shelling parts of west Mosul, residents said, in preparation for a new front against Islamic State seven weeks into a difficult campaign to drive the militants from the city.
Federal police forces, stationed a few miles south of Mosul, on the west bank of the Tigris River that divides the city, have long said they aim to advance towards the airport on the southwestern edge.
Some 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shi'ite paramilitary forces are participating in the assault that began on October 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led international military coalition.
The city is sealed off to the north, south and east, while to the west the Shi'ite forces have cut the road to Syria and have advanced close to the Islamic State-held town of Tal Afar, about 60 km (40 miles) from Mosul.
Militants still hold three-quarters of Mosul, where around 1 million residents are living under increasingly siege-like conditions as winter sets in.
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