MOSUL, IRAQ —
Iraqi forces on Wednesday progressed into the city limits of Mosul, entering the eastern neighborhood of Gogjali in their push to rid the Islamic State militants from Iraq’s second-largest city.
As Iraqi forces advanced, U.S.-led coalition warplanes bombed IS positions in the neighborhood, preventing IS snipers and suicide bombers in cars from attacking. Kurdish peshmerga forces stayed on the outskirts providing reinforcement.
The retaking of Gogjali opened a route out for hundreds of civilians who were trapped in the city since the U.S.-backed offensive began last month.
But as forces move toward the center of the city, they are likely to engage in house-to-house fighting with IS fighters who vow to use thousands of civilians as human shields, commanders told VOA.