Iraqi, Kurdish forces launch US-backed offensive to free Mosul from Islamic State

Mosul fell to Islamic State fighters during the militants' June 2014 blitz that left nearly a third of Iraq in the extremists' hands and plunged the country into its most severe crisis since the US-led invasion

FP Staff October 18, 2016 10:57:02 IST
Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, backed by US-led coalition air and ground support, launched coordinated military operations early on Monday as the long-awaited fight to wrest the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters got underway. AP
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Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, backed by US-led coalition air and ground support, launched coordinated military operations early on Monday as the long-awaited fight to wrest the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters got underway. AP
Convoys of Iraqi, Kurdish and US forces moved east of Mosul along the front line as US-led coalition airstrikes sent plumes of smokes into the air and heavy artillery rounds could be heard. This Peshmerga convoy is headed towards a frontline in Khazer, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Mosul, Iraq. AP
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Convoys of Iraqi, Kurdish and US forces moved east of Mosul along the front line as US-led coalition airstrikes sent plumes of smokes into the air and heavy artillery rounds could be heard. This Peshmerga convoy is headed towards a frontline in Khazer, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Mosul, Iraq. AP
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operations on state television, launching the country on its toughest battle since American troops left nearly five years ago. Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, has been under Islamic State rule for more than two years and is still home to more than a million civilians according to UN estimates. AP
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operations on state television, launching the country on its toughest battle since American troops left nearly five years ago. Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, has been under Islamic State rule for more than two years and is still home to more than a million civilians according to UN estimates. AP
The Commander of the Joint Military Operation Commander, Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, walks in the town of Khazer, Iraq, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. He praised the role of the U.S.-led International Coalition as "very important" through carrying out airstrikes and sharing intelligence. Citing intelligence information, he claimed some IS militants were fleeing Mosul to Syria along with their families. AP
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The Commander of the Joint Military Operation Commander, Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, walks in the town of Khazer, Iraq, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. He praised the role of the U.S.-led International Coalition as "very important" through carrying out airstrikes and sharing intelligence. Citing intelligence information, he claimed some IS militants were fleeing Mosul to Syria along with their families. AP
The push to retake Mosul will be the largest military operation in Iraq since American troops left in 2011 and, if successful, the biggest blow yet to the Islamic State. Al-Abadi pledged the fight for the city would lead to the liberation of all Iraqi territory from the militants this year. AP
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The push to retake Mosul will be the largest military operation in Iraq since American troops left in 2011 and, if successful, the biggest blow yet to the Islamic State. Al-Abadi pledged the fight for the city would lead to the liberation of all Iraqi territory from the militants this year. AP
Iraqi forces have been massing around the city in recent days, including elite special forces that are expected to lead the charge into the city, as well as Kurdish forces, Sunni tribal fighters, federal police and Shiite militia forces. AP
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Iraqi forces have been massing around the city in recent days, including elite special forces that are expected to lead the charge into the city, as well as Kurdish forces, Sunni tribal fighters, federal police and Shiite militia forces. AP
Mosul fell to Islamic State fighters during the militants' June 2014 blitz that left nearly a third of Iraq in the extremists' hands and plunged the country into its most severe crisis since the US-led invasion. After seizing Mosul, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi visited the city to declare an Islamic caliphate that at one point covered nearly a third of Iraq and Syria. But since late last year, the militants have suffered battlefield losses in Iraq. AP
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Mosul fell to Islamic State fighters during the militants' June 2014 blitz that left nearly a third of Iraq in the extremists' hands and plunged the country into its most severe crisis since the US-led invasion. After seizing Mosul, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi visited the city to declare an Islamic caliphate that at one point covered nearly a third of Iraq and Syria. But since late last year, the militants have suffered battlefield losses in Iraq. AP