Daesh car-bomb attack kills 16 in W. Mosul: Iraqi army

Islamic State group fighters are losing large numbers of men along with their grip on Mosul, the Iraqi city they once completely controlled.

Iraqi forces forced Islamic State out of the eastern side of the city in January.

Iraqi government forces have taken back most of it in a US -backed offensive launched in October, including the half that lies east of the Tigris River.

Mosul - Iraqi forces made advances in their fight against the ISIS extremist group in the Old City of Mosul with drones being used to direct strikes against militants and as the US-backed offensive to capture the city entered its seventh month. "Already, more than 493,000 people have left, leaving nearly everything behind", Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said in a news release issued by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An Iraqi woman carries a girl as she walks along a pontoon bridge over the Tigris river on the outskirts of Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, Iraq, April 17, 2017.

Mosul's permanent bridges were largely destroyed during a six-month military campaign to seize back Mosul from the Sunni Muslim Islamists.




"Everything is back to normal", said a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati, said on Tuesday that military forces continue to gain ground against Daesh militants, and are steadily liberating the remaining militant-held areas in western Mosul, Arabic-language and official al-Sabaah (The Morning) daily newspaper reported.

Since the start of military operations to retake Mosul six months ago, almost half a million people have been displaced from their homes.

'Minutes ago, they launched an attack and we responded by shelling them with mortar rounds, killing two of them and their bodies were left in front of our defensive lines, ' he said earlier today.

Allawi said the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the head of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are not communicating with each other directly but through intermediaries.

It is unclear how exactly the two group may work together, Allawi said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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