- Title: Iraq troops vow to tighten noose on Islamic State in Mosul
- Date: 13th November 2016
- Summary: BAWIZA, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HEAVY SMOKE RISING FROM NEARBY VILLAGE OF HADBA IN MOSUL SOLDIERS STANDING IN FRONT OF A WATER TOWER VARIOUS OF WATER TOWER WITH ISLAMIC STATE FLAGS PAINTED ON IT VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS PREPARING TO FIRE ROCKETS ROCKETS PLACED NEARBY VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS FIRING ROCKET LAUNCHERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF IRAQI SIXTEENTH ARMOURED DIVISION, BRIGADIER ALI ABDULLAH, SAYING: "The operation to liberate Nineveh is moving in the correct way, however we were held back for obvious reasons: the heavy presence of many civilians in the area, which affects the progress of the operation." HOUSE IN VILLAGE, AUDIO OF ROCKET BEING LAUNCHED BODY OF AN ISLAMIC STATE MILITANT SEEN LYING IN FIELD EXTERIOR OF HOUSE USED BY ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS TUNNELS USED BY ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS ROCKET LAUNCHER USED BY MILITANTS FIELD NEAR BUILDING HOUSING ISLAMIC STATE EQUIPMENT, AUDIO HEARD OF INCOMING MORTAR HORSES LEAVING HANGAR USED BY ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS TO CREATE VEHICLE-BORNE EXPLOSIVE DEVICES CAR BUILT BY MILITANTS ARMOURED VEHICLE USED BY MILITANTS SIGN ON CAR READING (Arabic): "SHEIKH ABI OMAR NAEMI BASE" ARMOURED CARS USED BY THE MILITANTS VARIOUS OF FAKE WOODEN MILITARY VEHICLES USED AS DIVERSION TACTICS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI ARMY SPOKESPERSON, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ABBAS, SAYING: "Daesh [Islamic State] militants used wooden tanks and cars to cause a diversion for the planes during the military operation." SOLDIER INSPECTING ISLAMIC STATE VEHICLE STICKER ON VEHICLE READING (Arabic): "NINEVEH PROVINCE, ARTILLERY UNIT" VEHICLES USED BY MILITANTS SHALALAT, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS) HOSPITAL BEDS IN BUILDING USED BY ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS AS A FIELD HOSPITAL BLOOD ON SHEETS OF HOSPITAL BED EQUIPMENT IN FIELD HOSPITAL VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ON BACK OF TRUCK PREPARING TO FLEE AREA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LOCAL RESIDENT, ABU SALEM, SAYING: "The situation was tough, bombs and mortars were dropped on us. What can we do? We decided to flee, they had us surrounded, they used people as human shields. If anyone tried to leave they would take them to Mosul." VARIOUS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE INCLUDING CHILDREN IN BACK OF PICKUP TRUCK
- Embargoed: 28th November 2016 14:21
- Keywords: conflict Mosul militants IS Islamic State Iraq
- Location: BAWIZA AND SHALALAT, NEAR MOSUL, IRAQ
- City: BAWIZA AND SHALALAT, NEAR MOSUL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00158A1VLZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
Iraqi special forces said on Sunday (November 13) that Islamic State fighters had been pushed out of the village of Bawiza, located on the northern frontline of Mosul.
An army special forces officer said his men aimed to target Hadba, the first neighbourhood ahead of them within city limits. Heavy smoke could be seen rising from the district which was visible from his position in the village of Bawiza.
Brigadier Ali Abdulla said Islamic State fighters had also been pushed out of another village, Saada, although progress had been slowed by the presence of civilians who he said were being used by the militants as human shields.
"The operation to liberate Nineveh is moving in the correct way, however we were held back for obvious reasons: the heavy presence of many civilians in the area, which affects the progress of the operation," he said.
The timing of the decision to move on Hadba would also depend on progress on other fronts, he said. Security forces are advancing to the south of Mosul, targeting the city's airport on the west bank of the Tigris river.
Abdulla said Islamic State was using suicide car bombs, roadside bombs, snipers and long range mortars to try to hold back the army advance in the north - all tactics it has used to lethal effect on the eastern front as well.
Soldiers also discovered a factory and field hospital used by the militants during the military operation in the area.
Vehicle-borne explosives and armoured vehicles were stored in a large hanger in the village, as well as fake wooden decoy tanks.
"Daesh [Islamic State] militants used wooden tanks and cars to cause a diversion for the planes during the military operation," said Lieutenant Colonel Abbas, an army spokesperson.
As the army cleared the hangar and the surrounding area, some residents decided to flee to avoid the ongoing clashes in the area.
"The situation was tough, bombs and mortars were dropped on us. What can we do? We decided to flee, they had us surrounded, they used people as human shields. If anyone tried to leave they would take them to Mosul," local resident Abu Salem said.
Iraqi soldiers fighting just north of Mosul, within sight of city neighbourhoods, said on Sunday that they were ready to tighten the noose around Islamic State militants waging a brutal defence of their Iraqi stronghold.
Four weeks into the campaign to crush Islamic State in Mosul, the city is almost surrounded but the jihadists' defences have been breached so far only to the east, where they have battled elite troops for control of up to a dozen districts.
The battle for Mosul, the largest city held by the ultra-hardline Sunni Islamist group in Iraq and Syria, is the largest military operation in Iraq in a decade of turmoil unleashed by the 2003 U.S. invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein.
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government, which has assembled a 100,000-strong coalition of troops, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shi'ite militias, backed by U.S. air power, says it will mark the end of Islamic State in Iraq.
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