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Iraqi Forces Advance Deeper In Mosul, Commander Says


Smoke rises after an air strike as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul earlier this week.

Smoke rises after an air strike as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul earlier this week.

Iraqi security forces have recaptured more than a third of west Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) militant group since launching a military operation in the area last month, an army general said on March 12.

General Maan al-Saadi of the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying: "Around more than a third of [west Mosul] is under the control of our units."

Saadi said CTS forces were battling IS inside the Mosul al-Jadida and Al-Aghawat areas in west Mosul on March 12.

The general said he expected the fighting there to be completed in the coming hours.

The operation to recapture west Mosul began on February 19. Eastern Mosul was liberated by government forces in January.

The operation is part of a larger military offensive to liberate Mosul from IS, which overran the city in 2014.

Iraqi government forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen, and Shi'a militiamen backed by US-led air strikes are involved in the military offensive, which was launched in October 2016.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC
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