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Abadi Says Iraqi Forces Now 'Moving' Against IS Militants In Western Mosul

Boys watch as demining experts from the Iraqi Army search for booby-trapped buildings in eastern Mosul on January 17.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi says Iraqi forces have begun "moving" against Islamic State (IS) militants in western Mosul, a part of the city still fully held by the extremist group.

Abadi's announcement on Iraqi state TV on January 17 came as Iraqi forces fought the last remaining pockets of IS resistance within Mosul to the east of the Tigris River.

Fighting on January 17 included a battle inside a military base in northeastern Mosul.

Iraqi military officials say they will soon control the entire east bank of the Tigris River.

Before the U.S.-backed campaign within Mosul began more than three months ago, five bridges crossed the Tigris within the city.

All have been destroyed by U.S. air strikes, preventing IS militants from resupplying fighters in the east.

The battle for western Mosul is expected to be as complicated and slow-going as the three-month urban battle in the east.

Based on reporting by Reuters and