GLOBAL ECONOMY

Iraqi special forces pause in Mosul push due to poor weather

  • Iraqi special forces advance towards Islamic State militant-held territory in Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Troops have established a foothold in the city's east from where they are driving northward into the Tahrir neighborhood. The families in Tahrir are leaving their homes to flee the fighting. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Iraqi special forces advance towards Islamic State militant-held territory in Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Troops have established a foothold in the city's east from where they are driving northward into the Tahrir neighborhood. The families in Tahrir are leaving their homes to flee the fighting. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • The body of 19-year-old Berzan Ibrahim Khelil, who was killed by a mortar during fighting between the Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants is carried to a cemetery on a cart by his cousin in Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    The body of 19-year-old Berzan Ibrahim Khelil, who was killed by a mortar during fighting between the Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants is carried to a cemetery on a cart by his cousin in Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • A boy asks for food supplies being distributed in an area previously held by Islamic State militants and now controlled by Iraqi forces in Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    A boy asks for food supplies being distributed in an area previously held by Islamic State militants and now controlled by Iraqi forces in Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

Iraq special forces say they're temporarily pausing in their push into the northern city of Mosul held by the Islamic State group due to poor weather.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil says clouds over the city on Thursday have obscured the visibility of drones and strike aircraft. He says the troops are securing areas they have taken with checkpoints and sweeping for explosives.

Heavy fighting broke out a day earlier in Mosul's eastern Tahrir neighborhood, where an IS suicide car bomber disabled an Abrams tank belonging to the Iraqi army.

Iraqi forces launched the long-awaited operation to retake Mosul nearly a month ago but have only advanced into a few eastern districts. The troops have faced fierce resistance, with snipers, mortar fire and suicide bombers driving armor-plated vehicles packed with explosives.