Iraqi Forces Enter Western Mosul, in Fierce Battle Against ISIS

Iraqi security forces drive in the village of al-Buseif south of Mosul after they recaptured the village from the control of the Islamic State group

AFP 2017 AHMAD AL-RUBAYEUS Planes'Provide No Air Support to Iraqi Militias Fighting Daesh in Mosul

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on March 7 urged Islamic State militants in western Mosul to surrender promising fair trials to those who give up fighting.

Iraq announced Tuesday that its forces have retaken the provincial government headquarters and a second bridgehead from the Islamic State group in west Mosul.

In Mosul, Iraqi security forces backed by Western air power have recaptured the eastern side of the city and are making gradual progress into the western side in a bloody fight. IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other support have since regained most of the ground they lost.

"In the same way that we did not defeat Nazi Germany by taking out Hitler, or we did not defeat the Japanese Imperial Army by killing Yamamoto, it's very important for us to kill the battlefield commanders in order to defeat the army", she said.

Mosul, Iraq's second city, is the capital of Nineveh province.

Since hostilities resumed on February 19, more than 600 people have been treated at trauma stabilisation points close to the city for conflict-related injuries, he said.

Daesh is being progressively squeezed in Iraq and Syria where parallel campaigns backed by the USA -led coalition are eating into the territory once touted by the group as its "caliphate".

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to still be trapped under jihadist rule in the Old City, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance as IS leader and proclaimed a "caliphate" in July 2014. "They were stolen possibly smuggled", Lami said.

Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies have pushed south from the Turkish border and driven IS out of the northern town of Al-Bab.

On Monday they reached the Euphrates River cutting the main road to the partly IS-held city of Deir Ezzor downstream.

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