Middle East

Iraqi troops south of Mosul face IS attack

  • An Iraqi Army soldier flashes a victory sign as he leaves his armored vehicle after a military operation to regain control of a village outside Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces are assaulting villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

    An Iraqi Army soldier flashes a victory sign as he leaves his armored vehicle after a military operation to regain control of a village outside Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces are assaulting villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Iraqi Army soldier feeds pigeons after regaining control of a village outside Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces are assaulting villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

    An Iraqi Army soldier feeds pigeons after regaining control of a village outside Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces are assaulting villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraqi injured soldiers, who were wounded during the battle against the Islamic State group, lies on the ground as they receive medical treatment at a field hospital, in Haj Ali frontline village, southern Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces on Tuesday assaulted villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Iraqi injured soldiers, who were wounded during the battle against the Islamic State group, lies on the ground as they receive medical treatment at a field hospital, in Haj Ali frontline village, southern Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Iraqi forces on Tuesday assaulted villages far south of Mosul in the Nineveh province, attempting to clear rural areas of Islamic State fighters who stayed behind to hinder their advance. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

Iraqi army troops sweeping through an area southeast of Mosul have come under attack from Islamic State militants firing automatic weapons and mortars.

The troops from the 9th Armored Division were on a foot patrol when they came under fire Wednesday by IS militants stationed on the opposite bank of the Tigris River.

The troops were sweeping an area east of the Tigris before they pressed on with their advance on Mosul, Iraq's second largest city captured by IS in June 2014.

The government last month launched a massive campaign to retake Mosul from IS. The offensive was launched on multiple fronts, but most of the fighting has to date been concentrated in the city's eastern sector, with Iraq's special forces taking the lead.