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Iraqi General Says IS Driven Completely From East Bank Of Tigris River In Mosul

Iraqi forces fire a rocket launcher during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul on January 18 (file photo).

The commanding officer of Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Services says his forces have driven Islamic State fighters from all districts of eastern Mosul that they have been tasked with recapturing.

Lieutenant-General Talib Shaghati said on January 18 that the three-month offensive against IS militants in the northern Iraqi city had taken control of the entire eastern bank of the Tigris River.

However, a military statement said Regular army troops were still fighting IS militant in northeast Mosul on January 18.

Shaghati said capturing the western half of Mosul, which IS militants still fully control, would be an easier task than the urban battle in eastern Mosul.

However, Iraqi military officers have previously said that the more densely populated west bank of the Tigris River could pose additional military challenges.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP