- Title: Iraqi army secures neighbourhoods east of Mosul
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL MOSUL, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) IRAQI SOLDIER ON TOP OF HUMVEE FLASHING "V" SIGN HUMVEE WITH IRAQI FLAG DRIVING BY ARTILLERY TAKING POSITION BEHIND EMBANKMENT/ FIRING MORE OF ARTILLERY FIRING IRAQI OFFICERS WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEDIA OFFICER OF IRAQI ARMY'S NINTH ARMOURED DIVISION, COLONEL HAITHAM SHAKIR, SAYING: "We continue to advance towards set targets and thanks to the Almighty God and to the efforts of our brave fighters we have cleared the captured neighbourhoods of Shahrazad, al-Shaimaa and al-Intisar and we will keep advancing and spirits are high" GROUP OF IRAQI SOLDIERS NEAR ARTILLERY SHELLS MILITARY HUMVEE DRIVING LINE OF MILITARY HUMVEES IN AREA
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 14:52
- Keywords: Ali Rash Mosul eastern outskirts intisar
- Location: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: ALI RASH, EAST OF MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00159J205J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Iraqi government forces said on Tuesday (November 22) that three neighbourhoods on the eastern outskirts of the Islamic State-held city of Mosul have been secured.
"We have cleared the captured neighbourhoods of Shahrazad, al-Shaimaa and al-Intisar and we will keep advancing and spirits are high," said Colonel Haitham Shakir, media officer of the Iraqi Army Ninth Armoured Division.
The division has been trying to secure the area of Intisar for nearly three weeks clearing it of booby traps, snipers and remaining militants.
The government forces also said they secured the nearby villages of Shahrazad and Shimaa.
The secured villages surround Ali Rash, a village about 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Mosul which was recaptured from the militants late last month.
U.S.-trained Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service forces spearheading the armoured division are the only forces to have breached the city limits from the eastern side.
Other army and federal police units, Shiite militias and Kurdish fighters have yet to enter the northern and the southern sides.
U.S. official said earlier on Tuesday that U.S. forces backing an Iraqi army campaign in Mosul carried out an air strike on a bridge spanning the Tigris river, restricting militant movements between western and eastern parts of the city,
Militants have retreated from areas around Mosul into the city. But the Iraqi army's early advances have slowed as militants dug in, using the civilians inside the city as a human shields, moving through tunnels, and hitting advancing troops with suicide bombs, sniper and mortar fire.
The battle for Mosul, launched five weeks ago, is turning into the largest military campaign in more than a decade of conflict in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The Iraqi military estimates around 5,000 Islamic State fighters are in Mosul. A 100,000-strong coalition of Iraqi government forces, Kurdish fighters and Shi'ite paramilitary units is surrounding the city.
Mosul's capture would be a major step towards dismantling the caliphate, and the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who had ordered his fighters to stay and fight to the end before allegedly withdrawing to a remote area near the Syrian border.
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