Iraqi forces fight ISIS in northwest Mosul suburb

Kai Liu
By Kai Liu
March 6, 2017Newsshare

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces edged closer on Monday (March 6) to capturing the main government building in Mosul as fighting raged in a northwestern suburb of the city.

Taking control of the Nineveh governorate building, on the western side of Mosul, would mark a symbolic step towards restoring state authority over Mosul, even though the site is effectively destroyed and wasn’t used by ISIS.

Holding the area would help Iraqi forces attack the militants in the nearby old city, which houses the grand Nuri mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq, in 2014.

“Our forces started to advance at seven o’clock in the morning towards their set targets in Dawasa and Dandan districts up to the government building. The troops have accomplished their tasks according to the plan set by the joint command. The operation is going slowly so it can spare the lives of civilians, as there are still families in these areas,” Federal Police Brigadier General Shaalan Ali Saleh said.

Saleh said he expected his forces would raise the Iraqi flag over the governorate building in a matter of hours.

Civilians have been displaced in greater numbers in the past days, as the fighting rages in the middle of residential neighborhoods where populations have already been suffering for months from food, water, and electricity shortages.

Defeating ISIS in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, would crush the Iraqi wing of the caliphate.

(Reuters)

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