Europe

Iraqi forces pause at edge of Mosul, weather cuts visibility

  • A Iraqi soldier stands near a checkpoint as smoke rises from burning oil fields in Qayara, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The U.N. human rights office is lauding efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul. The office in Geneva says coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing IS from bringing in 25,000 more civilians to the city center, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    A Iraqi soldier stands near a checkpoint as smoke rises from burning oil fields in Qayara, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The U.N. human rights office is lauding efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul. The office in Geneva says coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing IS from bringing in 25,000 more civilians to the city center, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi army soldiers warm themselves next to a fire near the Qayara air base, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The U.N. human rights office is lauding efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul. The office in Geneva says coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing IS from bringing in 25,000 more civilians to the city center, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Iraqi army soldiers warm themselves next to a fire near the Qayara air base, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The U.N. human rights office is lauding efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against the Islamic State group in Mosul. The office in Geneva says coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing IS from bringing in 25,000 more civilians to the city center, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi special forces soldiers patrol a street in Gogjali, an eastern district of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Iraqi special forces paused their advance in the eastern district of Mosul on Wednesday to clear a neighborhood of any remaining Islamic State militants, killing at least eight while carrying out house-to-house searches. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

    Iraqi special forces soldiers patrol a street in Gogjali, an eastern district of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Iraqi special forces paused their advance in the eastern district of Mosul on Wednesday to clear a neighborhood of any remaining Islamic State militants, killing at least eight while carrying out house-to-house searches. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)  (The Associated Press)

An Iraqi special forces general says his troops are holding their positions along Mosul's eastern outskirts as poor weather hampers visibility in operations to rout Islamic State fighters from the country's second-largest city.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil says no advances are planned for Tuesday, as high humidity and clouds obscure the view of aircraft and drones.

From the Mosul neighborhood of Gogjali, which is inside city limits but just outside more urban districts, the guns have gone largely silent, although sporadic rifle cracks could be heard as well as some army artillery fire on IS positions.

The pause comes after Iraqi troops on Tuesday set foot in the city for the first time in more than two years, gearing up for urban warfare expected to take weeks, if not months.