Iraqi forces seek to clear last jihadist pockets in Mosul

Jul 12, 2017, 00:23
Iraqi forces seek to clear last jihadist pockets in Mosul

A 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militias launched the offensive to recapture the northern city from the militants in October, with key air and ground support from a USA -led coalition.

In a message to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Ayatollah Araki hailed the liberation of Mosul from "the claws of the Daesh terrorist group" as the end of the sufferings of the city's people at the hands of the stooges of the colonial powers, Zionists and reactionary states in the region.

A senior USA general said on Tuesday the fight was "far from over" in Iraq despite the recapture of Mosul from Islamic State militants and he saw no major reduction in US troop numbers after the fall of the city.

At times heavy, the clashes underscored the dangers still posed by the militants after Iraqi forces announced they retook full control of Mosul, the country's second-largest city, three years after it was seized by extremists bent on building a global caliphate.

While there are still areas of the old city of Mosul that must be back-cleared of explosive devices and possible ISIS fighters in hiding, Inherent Resolve officials said, Iraqi forces have Mosul now firmly under their control.

Summary: "Talking to TOI on Monday, Gurpinder Kaur, sister of one of the abducted Indian youths Manjinder Singh, said, "This was the most-awaited message from our government after the victory of Iraqi forces in Mosul".

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Helicopter @msdhoni have a great day buddy, the cake awaits you#happybirthday #cakesmash", tweeted Yuvraj. He is the only captain to have all three ICC trophies and is the best captain India has got till date.

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In August, Iraqi forces recaptured Qayyarah, some 60 kilometers south of Mosul, from ISIL after a 7-month long besiege that was followed by two months of fierce clashes. IS fighters carried out forced displacement and summary killings, as well as using civilians as human shields.

Amnesty International, meanwhile, proclaimed the battle for Mosul to be a "civilian catastrophe", with more than 5,800 noncombatants killed in the western part of the city.

The report, which covered the first five months of 2017, noted how the militants moved civilians with them around Mosul, prevented them from escaping and created battle spaces with dense civilian populations, while Iraqi forces and the coalition "failed to adapt their tactics".

The UN says that of the 54 residential districts in the western half of Mosul - where the Old City is located - 15 are heavily damaged and 23 moderately damaged.

During its occupation of Mosul, ISIS destroyed numerous city's religious and cultural treasures, including the al-Nuri Mosque and the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah.

Erdogan adds: "Who will meet the cost of rebuilding Mosul for the people of Mosul?"

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