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.