Middle East

Iraqi troops resume fighting in Mosul after 2-week lull

Push to retake the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq

 

Iraqi troops have pushed deeper into Mosul after a two-week lull in the operation to retake the Islamic State-held city.

Backed by airstrikes, Iraqi special forces, army troops and federal police launched a push on five neighborhoods early Thursday. Smoke rose across the city as explosions and machine gun fire echoed through the streets.

Stiff resistance by the militants, civilians trapped inside their houses and bad weather have slowed advances in the more than two-month-old offensive to recapture Iraq's second largest city, the extremist group's last urban bastion in the country.

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In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, commander of the special forces in eastern Mosul, said his forces have been bolstered by reinforcements.