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Mosul Offensive Slows As Iraqi Troops Clear Recaptured Neighborhoods

An Iraqi soldier fires a rocket-propelled grenade south of Mosul on November 10.
An Iraqi soldier fires a rocket-propelled grenade south of Mosul on November 10.

Iraqi troops continued to battle Islamic State (IS) in and around the northern city of Mosul on November 10 but did not advance their positions, focusing instead on clearing neighborhoods previously occupied by the militants.

The clearing operations by governing forces included removing booby traps and mines in a sliver of eastern Mosul, the Zahra neighborhood.

They were also clearing narrow streets that are choked by the hulks of destroyed cars and armored vehicles.

They have also recaptured about half of the Aden neighborhood where clashes continue.

Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition that is supporting the urban assault with air strikes, said advancing troops and aircraft have also destroyed about 70 tunnels that were being used by IS militants to launch surprise attacks from inside densely populated areas.

Dorrian described the defenses erected in Mosul by IS fighters during their two-year occupation of the city as "elaborate."

The three-week offensive has slowed with government forces holding a line on the northern and southern outskirts of the city, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to the northeast at the town of Bashiqa, and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia fighters blocking the highway that runs west from Mosul into Syria.

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