- Title: Intermittent clashes as Iraqi forces try to consolidate grip on eastern Mosul
- Date: 20th November 2016
- Summary: TAHRIR DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 20, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BLACK HUMVEES OF IRAQ'S COUNTER TERRORISM SERVICE (CTS) FORCES IN STREET OF RECENTLY CAPTURED NEIGHBOURHOOD CTS HUMVEES DRIVING INTO NEIGHBOURHOOD / CTS FORCES WALKING NEARBY CTS MEMBER WAVING FOR VEHICLE TO ADVANCE NEAR PARTIALLY DEMOLISHED HOUSE MEMBER OF CTS FORCES KEEPING GUARD IN STREET OF NEIGHBOURHOOD GROUP OF WOMEN CARRYING PERSONAL BELONGINGS WALKING ALONG STREET YOUNG MAN PUSHING ELDERLY WOMAN IN WHEELBARROW PAST BLACK HUMVEE OF CTS FORCES VARIOUS OF RUBBLE IN FRONT OF DAMAGED HOUSE, MAN FLASHING "V" SIGN FROM WINDOW / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE MEMBER OF CTS STANDING NEAR HUMVEE / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE MASKED CTS FORCES MEMBER KEEPING GUARD COMMANDERS AND OFFICERS OF CTS FORCES IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COMMANDER OF DIVISION OF COUNTER TERRORISM SERVICE (CTS) FORCES, LIEUTENANT GENERAL MUNAF, SAYING: "We are now at al-Tahrir neighbourhood and further down is al-Qahira neighbourhood. We will keep on advancing and clearing areas according to the plan. The plan is going smoothly and, God willing, we will continue today our set tasks of this phase and then we will set off to retake other neighbourhoods. The civilians feel safe." FLEEING CIVILIANS TAKING SHELTER BEHIND BUILDING / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE FLEEING CIVILIANS CARRYING BELONGINGS WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF TAHRIR NEIGHBOURHOOD, ABU AMMAR, SAYING: "We have no water and no food and we are frightened. Children are frightened too. We are psychologically tired. We do not know what to do. We do not know if we should go to the camp or stay here. We are besieged here with no water and no food." CTS MILITARY HUMVEES AND TROOPS IN STREET OF NEIGHBOURHOOD PERSON MOVING ACROSS ROOFS OF HOUSES IN TAHRIR VARIOUS OF SKYLINE OF NEIGHBOURHOOD / AUDIO OF GUNFIRE / SMOKE BILLOWING IN DISTANCE
- Embargoed: 5th December 2016 10:39
- Keywords: Iraq Mosul Middle East clashes Tahrir Islamic State Islamic State
- Location: TAHRIR DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: TAHRIR DISTRICT, EASTERN MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA001598Z2O7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Intermittent clashes could be heard on Sunday (November 20) in Mosul's Tahrir neighbourhood, as elite Iraqi forces tried to consolidate their grip and clear the whole district of Islamic State militants believed to be still holed up in parts of the area.
The Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) on Friday (November 18) stormed the Tahrir district on the eastern edge of Mosul, the last major city under control of the Sunni hard-line group in Iraq.
Black humvees patrolled the streets of the area on Sunday as crackles of gunfire were heard several streets away from the CTS lines and a plume of smoke rose in the distance.
"We will keep on advancing and clearing areas according to the plan. The plan is going smoothly and, God willing, we will continue today our set tasks of this phase and then we will set off to retake other neighbourhoods. The civilians feel safe," said CTS Lieutenant General Munaf, whose division is tasked with capturing the district.
With no water and food, some civilians said they were frightened by the fighting and had chosen to leave their homes.
"We are psychologically tired. We do not know what to do. We do not know if we should go to the camp or stay here. We are besieged here with no water and no food," said Abu Ammar, a local resident.
As the offensive entered its second month, Iraqi government forces are still fighting in a dozen of about 50 neighbourhoods on the eastern part of Mosul, which is divided by the Tigris River that runs through its centre.
Militants are dug in among the civilians as a defence tactic to hamper air strikes, moving around the city through tunnels, driving suicide car bombs into advancing troops and hitting them with sniper and mortar fire.
The offensive to take Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control in either Iraq or Syria, is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq's turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The CTS became the only unit to have breached the city limits from the eastern side two weeks ago. Other army units have yet to breach the northern and the southern sides.
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