Iraqi military says troops consolidate gains south of Mosul

Iraqi military says troops consolidate gains south of Mosul

Iraqi military says troops consolidate gains south of Mosul

They didn't allow anyone to leave their neighborhoods. "God willing Albu Saif will be fully liberated today".

Police units quickly entered the village of Athba, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southwest of Mosul's global airport, encountering only light resistance.

The coalition said it carried out a total of 40 air strikes on Saturday, nine of which hit targets in the Mosul area.

The leaflets say Iraqi forces are already making advancements and are "providing guidance and recommendations" for citizens ahead of the offensive.

IS claimed responsibility for two attacks in an online statement, saying the attackers were British and Iraqi.

Iraqi commanders expect the battle to be more hard than in the east of Mosul, however, in part because tanks and armoured vehicles can not pass through narrow alleyways that crisscross the city's ancient western districts.

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Right now, ISIS fighters in Mosul are using quad-copters that are no larger than a couple feet in diameter and can fly for about an hour, he said.

"Providing relief for displaced families is everyone's responsibility", he said.

"Even before the hospitals were closed, locals had to pay Daesh sums of money they couldn't afford", an employee at Al-Jamhuri hospital in west Mosul told AFP.

The forces faced fierce resistance as they entered the village and came under rocket fire during their first try.

Dorrian confirmed that Townsend had made recommendations for accelerating the war against Isis to General Joseph Votel, the head of US Central Command, who has relayed them to Mattis for deliberation.

"It's going to be challenging because what remains is a city about half the size of Philadelphia".

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There are 750,000 civilians in the western section of the city, according to the United Nations.

The fight against the Islamic State seem to be on the last stages in Iraq with rescue of Mosul from the jihadist group imminent.

The city is the largest urban centre captured by Islamic State in both countries. As in Syria's Raqqa, it imposed a radical version of sharia law there, banning cigarettes, televisions and radios, and forcing men to grow beards and women to cover from head to toe. The militants are expected to continue to wage an insurgency, however, carrying out suicide bombings and inspiring lone-wolf actions overseas.

Mattis is in the middle of a 30-day review of the USA strategy to defeat the Islamic State that is expected to make recommendations to the White House on whether additional US troops are needed or whether new authorities should be granted to American forces to help prosecute the campaign. The global terror group more commonly known as ISIS can "threaten aircraft" now, according to a tweet from a CBS News foreign correspondent.

Sylvia, however, deferred questions about whether the Iraqi security forces had suffered casualties to the Iraqi defense ministry. The militants are in charge of the road that links Mosul to Tal Afar, a town they control 60 km (40 miles) to the west.

Thousands of Iraqi troops, backed by artillery and air power, are involved in the assault to retake Mosul - and have now all but surrounded western parts of the city.

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An American intelligence official told reporters on condition of anonymity during Matti's recent trip to Iraq that "there's about 2,000 [ISIS jihadists] remaining" in Mosul, down from up to 7,000 at the start of the offensive in mid-October.

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