Anti-IS forces retake new area of Mosul as thousands flee Iraq

Iraqi militarised police have captured an area on the western side of Mosul amid fierce clashes with Islamic State militants.

It comes as thousands of people continued to flee the battle to government-controlled areas, security officials said.

Iraqi forces, backed by aerial support by the US-led international coalition, launched a new push last week to drive IS militants from Mosul's west.

They have captured so far the city's international airport and an adjacent military base.

Iraqi authorities declared Mosul's eastern half "fully liberated" from the Sunni militants in January, three months after launching the operation to take back Iraq's second-largest city.

At dawn on Sunday, the Federal Police Commandos Division moved into the Tayaran area amid fierce clashes, Major General Haider al-Maturi said.

He said the neighbourhood "is now under their full control".

Maj Gen Al-Maturi said IS militants deployed at least 10 suicide car bombs, but nine of them were blown up before reaching their targets.

The 10th killed two policemen and wounded five. Maj Gen Al-Maturi added that his forces arrested two militants - an Iraqi and a foreigner who speaks Russian.

Elsewhere, up to 3,000 people fled from the Mamun area on Sunday morning, according to Iraqi special forces Brigadier General Salam Hashed, who oversees a screening centre south of Mosul.

He said just over 2,500 people fled the previous day.

According to UN figures, about 750,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in their houses in western Mosul, one of several challenges expected to slow the advance of the Iraqi troops.

Another complication is western Mosul's old and narrow streets, which will force Iraqi soldiers to leave the relative safety of their armoured vehicles.

Western Mosul is the last significant urban area IS holds in Iraq. It fell to IS in the summer of 2014, along with large swaths of northern and western Iraq.


More in this Section

Mike Pompeo says US will wait for inquiry before acting on missing journalist

US downgrades its Jerusalem mission to Palestinians

Husband and wife swingers dubbed the 'Fred and Rose West of Barry' jailed for sexually abusing girls

Everything you need to know about the Brexit talks so far


Breaking Stories

David Beckham admits marriage is ‘hard work’: Is it normal for long-term relationships to be tough?

On World Menopause Day: 5 myths you really need to stop believing

Photography awards capture life at its wildest

This is how to stay healthy as a new parent – according to The Body Coach

More From The Irish Examiner