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Iraqi Forces Move Deeper Into Mosul

  • VOA News

Displaced people flee their homes, while Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq, March 12, 2017.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are pushing deeper into western Mosul Sunday to take positions still held by Islamic State militants.

Iraqi Staff Major General Maan al-Saadi told the French news agency that “around more than a third” of western Mosul is under the control of Iraqi units.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen Sunday above the city’s skyline as a series of explosions was heard.

Since the government’s initial push into the western side of the city began February 19, U.S. and Iraqi commanders have described fierce IS resistance as the extremist force seeks to hold its last significant urban area in the war-ravaged country.

U.S.-led coalition troops, officially deployed as trainers and advisers, have assisted the Iraqi force in the Mosul offensive.

Iraqi forces retook the eastern part of the city earlier this year after an offensive began October 17.

Large numbers of civilians have fled the fighting.

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