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1. Iraq: Army says 1/3 of Eastern Mosul recaptured, ISIS Group kills civilians to deter support

  • Duration: 191
  • Channel: news
Iraq: Army says 1/3 of Eastern Mosul recaptured, ISIS Group kills civilians to deter support

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8. Iraqi militias take Tal Afar air base from ISIL

  • Duration: 67
  • Channel: news
Iraqi militias take Tal Afar air base from ISIL

Iraqi Shi’ite militias say they have driven ISIL fighters from an air base west of Mosul. The victory, if confirmed, would threaten the Sunni group’s supply route from Syria to its last major stronghold in Iraq. #BREAKING: #PMF announce full liberation of #TalAfar airport after fierce clashes with #ISIS killing many of them #MosulOffensive pic.twitter.com/i5vKvuYPi5— Iraq Insider (@iraqinside) November 16, 2016 What is the strategic significance? If confirmed, the capture could be a significant development in the campaign to recapture Mosul, ISIL’s de facto capital. The group’s forces swept through Iraq in 2014 and set up a self-declared caliphate in a swathe of Syria and northern Iraq. Tal Afar The town lies around 60 kilometres west of Mosul on the main road to Syria. Its seizure could also alarm Turkey, which is wary of Iraqi Shi’ite involvement in the civil war in Syria. The Mosul campaign While the Shi’ite coalition is fighting ISIL west of Mosul, regular army and police units are trying to advance from the other sides. They are backed by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters deployed in the north and the east. Iraqi counter-terrorism forces breached ISIL defences in eastern Mosul two weeks ago. However, they have faced resistance from militants who have fought back with suicide car bombs, snipers and waves of counter-attacks. The government forces have been fighting in a dozen of the estimated 60 neighbourhoods on the eastern part of Mosul, which is divided by the Tigris River. They have yet to enter the town from the northern and southern sides. Iraqi special forces begin new push deeper into the northern city of Mosul in fight against Islamic State group. https://t.co/NI32jl8Mir— The Associated Press (@AP) November 16, 2016 When did the campaign start? On October the 17th. Using air and ground support from a US-led coalition, it is the biggest military operation in Iraq in more than a decade, since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. A springboard for Syria? Popular mobilisation, known locally by its Arabic name, Hashid Shaabi, says it plans to use the Tal Afar air base to take the battle against ISIL into Syria. The group will fight on the side of President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran. Although it officially reports to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, it is mainly trained and equipped by Iran. The prospect of sectarian strife The advance towards Tal Afar has raised the prospect of sectarian strife. It has also alarmed neighbouring Turkey. The town had a mixed population of mainly Shi’ite and Sunni Turkmen before ISIL captured it in 2014. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that Turkey is reinforcing its troops on the border with Iraq and will respond if the militias “cause terror” in Tal Afar. Iraq has sought to calm fears that the operation to recapture Tal


9. Iraqi forces pause advance in Mosul due to civilian casualties concern

  • Duration: 175
  • Channel: news
Iraqi forces pause advance in Mosul due to civilian casualties concern

Iraqi government forces paused the recapture western Mosul from Isis militants because of a high rate of civilian casualties, according to a security forces spokesman. Escaping residents reported Iraqi and US-led coalition air strikes in the area that killed numerous civilians. The insurgents have also used civilians as human shields and opened fire on them as they tried to escape Isis-held neighbourhoods. The US-backed offensive to drive Isis out of Mosul, now in its sixth month, has recaptured most of the city. The entire eastern side and about half of the west are under Iraqi control.


10. Residents in eastern Mosul attempt to return to semblance of normality

  • Duration: 98
  • Channel: news
Residents in eastern Mosul attempt to return to semblance of normality

As fighting goes on between ISIL militants and Iraqi soldiers in the city of Mosul, many people in eastern districts recaptured by government forces are attempting to return to some kind of normal daily life. Iraqi forces have made swift territorial gains against ISIS in Mosul after months of slow progress https://t.co/dsIAlXZre2 pic.twitter.com/EMWQE2eBZj— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 14, 2017 Markets are back selling food as people venture out onto the streets and repairs are being carried out. Municipal worker Ahmad Fathi said: “We’re fixing the pipes to make sure people have water, to hopefully live happily and comfortably. “There are many broken water pipes. We’re able to get water to Tahrir (district) but the network isn’t back to normal yet. We have pipes in Sukkar (district) that are broken and we’ll keep working to get water to everyone.” TOPSHOT: Civilians walk past Iraqi forces as they flee Mosul's southeastern Al–Mithaq neighbourhood on Jan 3, 2017 AFPphoto / AhmadMousaQ pic.twitter.com/ccEjLDrGcc— Ahmad Mousa (@AhmadMousaQ) January 5, 2017 Football games are even being played, with young people returning to sports grounds. Osama, the manager of one football pitch, told reporters: “When ISIL came here the young men slowly left. People stopped coming here. “The (militants) had many rules. Clothes with logos were not allowed, shorts were not allowed, our beards had to be long, we would have to stand in line in the pitch. They had many rules.” The Iraqi military, backed up by US airstrikes, is vowing to rid Mosul of ISIL militants who captured the city in 2014. Iraqi military says Mosul university fully liberated in key step toward retaking the Islamic State-held city. https://t.co/aZvnpc6Cvf— The Associated Press (@AP) January 15, 2017 Soldiers have made big advances in the east of Mosul, with the city’s main university recently recaptured. The rebels are still in control of the western districts, across the Tigris river, but soldiers have recaptured the eastern gates of key bridges, ahead of what could be an imminent offensive westwards. I met civilians in Mosul who were injured by grenades dropped from ISIS drones which are causing panic over Mosul https://t.co/Mfj4XnUNmw— Campbell MacDiarmid (@CampbellMacD) January 15, 2017 Up to 30 civilians 'killed in US-led coalition air strike' on Mosul https://t.co/u5khanafTa— The Independent (@Independent) January 14, 2017 In battle for #Mosul, Iraqi units are relying less on tanks and more on “nimble” forces. Via WSJ https://t.co/XjAyFpThZt— Crispin Burke (CrispinBurke) January 15, 2017 In Mosul areas retaken from Islamic State, loss and fear linger https://t.co/DTQ6JowDWX— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 12, 2017


11. Mosul civilians tell of ISIL attacks as Iraqi forces advance

  • Duration: 77
  • Channel: news
Mosul civilians tell of ISIL attacks as Iraqi forces advance

Iraqi forces are said to have been battling waves of ISIL suicide bombs as they attempt to advance deeper into eastern Mosul. Troops are converging from several fronts on Iraq’s second largest city, the extremists’ last major base in the country. Soldiers fighting just north of Mosul say they are ready to tighten the noose around the so-called Islamic State. Medical teams have been treating a number of injured civilians. ISIL militants are said to have turned on them when the soldiers arrived, killing one person and wounding many others, including children. “The soldiers reached us, and we got out. ISIL started to attack people. Some of them were injured. One of my neighbours was killed, shot in the stomach. And this girl was injured in her leg,” said one young resident, Ahmed Mohammed. Southeast of Mosul, hundreds of Iraqis who recently returned to the town of Hammam al-Alil since its recapture from ISIL, have been receiving aid and food packages. A mass grave with over 100 bodies was found in the town. The UN has described it as one of several ISIL killing grounds. Militants reportedly took 1,600 civilians away for possible use as human shields. Iraqi soldiers have also captured Nimrud, according to the military. It’s the site of an ancient city which was overrun by ISIL two years ago. The government says it was bulldozed last year as part of the extremists’ campaign to destroy symbols which the Sunni militants find idolatrous. The tense moment an #ISIS militant surrenders to #Kurdish soldiers #MosulOffensive pic.twitter.com/yXzLken2Pz— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) November 13, 2016


12. Iraqi Forces Pause Their Efforts To Recapture Mosul From IS

  • Duration: 42
  • Channel: news
Iraqi Forces Pause Their Efforts To Recapture Mosul From IS

Iraqi government forces paused in their push to recapture western Mosul from Islamic State militants on Saturday because of the high rate of civilian casualties, a security forces spokesman said. Residents escaping the besieged area have told of Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition air strikes demolishing buildings and killing numerous civilians. The insurgents have also used civilians as human shields and opened fire on them as they try to escape Islamic State-held neighborhoods, fleeing residents said. The U.S.-backed offensive to drive Islamic State out of Mosul, now in its sixth month, has recaptured most of the city. The entire eastern side and about half of the west is under Iraqi control. But advances have stuttered in the last two weeks as fighting enters the narrow alleys of the Old City, home to the al-Nuri mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014. "The recent high death toll among civilians inside the Old City forced us to halt operations to review our plans," a Federal Police spokesman said on Saturday. "It's a time for weighing new offensive plans and tactics. No combat operations are to go on."


13. Iraqi forces retake key bridge in western Mosul

  • Duration: 326
  • Channel: news
Iraqi forces retake key bridge in western Mosul

Military officials say Iraqi forces have recaptured a neighborhood and a strategic bridge along the Tigris river from Daesh terrorists. The operation was part of an offensive to liberate the western part of the city of Mosul from the terror group. The army troops and allied forces pushed into Mosul's western Gawsaq neighborhood, taking control of Mosul’s southernmost bridge. The bridge links the city’s western side to the east and can help bring army reinforcements and supplies from the eastern side. Daesh terrorists fought back with snipers, anti-tank missiles and car bombs. Nearly 650,000 civilians live in western Mosul. Iraqi forces launched the Mosul liberation operation in October 2016. The first phase of the operation led to the liberation of the eastern side of the city last month.


14. 'King of Clubs' body paraded through Baghdad in glass coffin

  • Duration: 88
  • Channel: news
'King of Clubs' body paraded through Baghdad in glass coffin

Paraded in a glass coffin and flanked by jostling civilians, members of the armed forces and the media scrum, the former right-hand man of Saddam Hussein was handed over to the authorities today. Iraqi officials said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri had died in fighting with government troops in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad, on Friday. Today, his body was returned to Baghdad and delivered to the Ministry of Health as crowds gathered to get a closer look at the 'King of Clubs'. A glass coffin with transparent panels carrying the body of Al-Douri - with his bright orange beard - was transferred from a van into a government vehicle. The event was broadcast live on state television in Iraq. Al-Douri, 72, headed the Naqshbandi Order insurgent group, an important faction behind the recent rise of ISIS. He was one of Saddam's most trusted henchmen, helping to lead his 1968 bloodless coup. Both Al-Douri and Saddam came from the same Tikriti tribal background. His daughter was briefly married to Saddam's elder son, Uday, who - together with his brother Qusay - was killed by US forces in Mosul in July 2003. He was then deputy to Saddam when he was deposed following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Following the execution of Saddam Hussein on 30 December, 2006, Al-Douri was confirmed as the new leader of the banned Ba'ath Party. Al-Douri was deemed the most high-profile official of Saddam's Ba'ath Party to evade capture after the invasion. He was ranked sixth on the US military's list of the 55 most-wanted Iraqis after offensive to overthrow Saddam and had a $10m bounty on his head. He was the King of Clubs in the infamous pack of cards the US issued of wanted members of Saddam's regime after its collapse. His dead body was pictured on social media on Friday with his teeth missing, an unkempt orange beard and a bloody head wound. Salahuddin governor Raed al-Jabouri said soldiers and allied Shia militiamen killed him in an operation east of Tikrit - a city that was recaptured by the government two weeks ago. He said: 'This is a major victory for those involved in the operation. He is considered a mastermind for this terrorist group. 'For sure this will have an impact on them...there will be a break among them.' ISIS currently controls a swath of land slightly larger than the UK, from Aleppo to central Iraq.


15. Iraqi soldiers make big advances against ISIL militants in Mosul

  • Duration: 84
  • Channel: news
Iraqi soldiers make big advances against ISIL militants in Mosul

Heavy fighting has intensified in ISIL-controlled districts of Mosul in Iraq, as soldiers make big advances to retake control of the city. The Iraqi army says it has now recaptured nearly all of the city’s eastern districts. Over the weekend soldiers drove ISIL out of the city’s main university, which had been used by the militants as its headquarters since 2014. Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced by the fighting; the exact number of civilian casualties is hard to ascertain. One resident in an eastern suburb told reporters: “After being liberated, ISIL targeted us. Any civilians living in areas outside their rule is considered an apostate. “So their snipers would target civilians as they walked down the streets, resulting in deaths. There are no cemeteries, we can’t go to the cemeteries, so we had to bury people in a schoolyard.” Residents are attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives in areas where ISIL has been driven out, repairing roads, pipes and power lines. The city awaits the expected assault on the western part of Mosul, where the militants are expected to put up stiff resistance. Officials in the east, meanwhile, are gathering up the possessions of ISIL fighters, including a chair that is said to have been used for torture by the militants.


16. Iraqi civilians struggle to flee Mosul as army fights to oust ISIL

  • Duration: 80
  • Channel: news
Iraqi civilians struggle to flee Mosul as army fights to oust ISIL

Fighting has been reported in one eastern district of Mosul even though Iraqi forces recently recaptured the area from the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Civilians have been leaving the Mithaq neighbourhood carrying belongings amid the sound of gunfire in the distance. Most have left the east but a growing number are escaping the besieged west, still controlled by the militants. “Some are lucky and come through, it’s question of chance, but there are those who are caught and others are stabbed – every person has a different destiny,” said one Iraqi man named as Jamal, who succeeded in fleeing Mosul’s western side. As the second phase of the army offensive against ISIL continues, many civilians have have to wait to board buses at Bartella, to be driven to nearby camps. A spokesman said they had first been taken to security screening points where they had received medical treatment and meals. A new camp has been opened at Khazer for people displaced from Mosul. The UN says at least 114,000 people have left their homes since military operations began. The camp was built in anticipation of thousands of residents fleeing ISIL. As many as a million are said to be out of reach of humanitarian assistance. But those arriving at Khazer are in a minority. So far most of the city’s residents have either chosen to stay or have been unable to escape. That has worked in ISIL’s favour, slowing the advance of Iraqi forces seeking to avoid civilian casualties. Smuggled by boat or scaling wrecked bridges, residents escape Mosul's besieged west https://t.co/fshlqywXt7 via ReutersUK— Hassan Hassan (hxhassan) January 3, 2017


17. Symbolic victory as Iraqi forces recapture state TV station in besieged city of Mosul

  • Duration: 71
  • Channel: news
Symbolic victory as Iraqi forces recapture state TV station in besieged city of Mosul

It is a symbolic victory in the battle to retake control of the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL militants. The state television station there has now been recaptured by Iraqi soldiers, backed by US-led air strikes. ISIL forces are putting up stiff resistance as the Iraqi troops and their allies move closer into the outskirts of Mosul’s eastern suburbs. Sami Al-Aridi, a Major General of the Iraqi Special Forces, said: “We are now less than one kilometre from the eastern entrance of Mosul. “God willing we will liberate and control the area in the coming hours.” On Monday fighting took place for the first time inside the city limits, with Baghdad vowing to close in on ISIL targets right into the city centre. Artillery fire and air strikes are being used against the militants. Numerous villages and towns have been cleared of ISIL since the offensive began two weeks ago. But army commanders are warning that the campaign could take months. Mosul is the last major bastion of the militants and there is concern for the fate of the 1.5 million residents who still live there, caught up in the fighting. Iraqi officials have also voiced increasing concern that ISIL is using civilians as human shields.


18. Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces continue their advances on the outskirts of Mosul

  • Duration: 72
  • Channel: news
Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces continue their advances on the outskirts of Mosul

Kurdish peshmerga forces attacked an Islamic State-held town northeast of Mosul on Monday, trying to clear a pocket of militants outside the city while Iraqi troops wage a fierce urban war with the jihadists in its eastern neighborhoods. According to reports, around 2000 soldiers entered Bashiqa after artillery pounded the town at the foot of a mountain about 15 km across the Nineveh plains from Mosul. “According to our military intelligence, there are no civilians left in Bashiqa,” said Peshmerga Brigadier General Iskander Khalil Gardi. “Our aim is to take control of this town while clearing out the Islamic State militants. We are making good progress as we have been hitting our targets since early morning. We look set to complete our mission.” The Mosul campaign brings together a force of around 100,000 soldiers, security forces, Shi’ite militias and peshmerga, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, to crush the Sunni jihadists. To the south of Mosul, security forces said they had recaptured and secured Hammam al-Alil from Islamic State fighters, who they claimed had kept thousands in the town as human shields as well as marching many others alongside retreating militants towards Mosul as cover from air strikes. I met this #peshmerga last week; like many of his friends he is involved in liberating villages on #Bashiqa front (credit Sami Baibabi) pic.twitter.com/q15bKmjhKB— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) October 28, 2016


19. Iraqi forces inflict heavy toll on ISIL fighters in Mosul

  • Duration: 72
  • Channel: news
Iraqi forces inflict heavy toll on ISIL fighters in Mosul

Iraqi special forces claim to have killed nearly 1,000 ISIL militants in the battle for Mosul. The six-week old offensive to re-take the jihadists’s stronghold has seen Iraqi troops enter about a quarter of the city on its eastern outskirts where they are now moving cautiously to avoid civilian casualties. Iraqi military estimates initially put the number of insurgents in Mosul at 5,000 to 6,000, but that may have been too high. In an attempt to slow down the Iraqi military advance ISIL fighters are deploying snippers, using car bombs and improvised explosive devises. On Monday (Nov. 28) Iraqi special forces claimed to have recaptured six districts of eastern Mosul. Heavy gunfire echoed across neighbourhoods as troops backed by armoured personnel carriers, cleared houses, one by one, to flush out ISIL militants who might be inside. It is then that the Iraqi government and various humanitarian organisations send in lorries loaded with food and clothes. The idea is to encourage civilians to stay at home during the offensive as the numbers of displaced people is running into hundreds of thousands. It’s believed more than one million people remain in Mosul, most in areas which are still under ISIL control. Iraqi authorities have not released estimates of civilian casualties but the United Nations says growing numbers of injured, both civilians and military, are overwhelming aid groups.


20. Iraq drops leaflets over west Mosul warning of imminent offensive

  • Duration: 275
  • Channel: news
Iraq drops leaflets over west Mosul warning of imminent offensive

The Iraqi air force has dropped leaflets on the western side of Mosul, warning residents that an offensive to recapture the rest of the city from Daesh is imminent. According to the defense ministry, the leaflets contain instructions for the citizens to get ready to welcome the Iraqi forces and urge Daesh terrorists to lay down their weapons and surrender. Nearly 650000 civilians live on the western side of the city which is controlled by the terror group. Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters launched the Mosul liberation operation in October 2016. Since then, they have made major gains against the terror group. The first phase of the operation in which they took control of the eastern side of the city was concluded last month.