More Iraqi people flee homes amid military operations in western Mosul

US-backed Iraqi forces have fought fierce battles with Islamic State fighters as they try to retake control of Mosul's main airport from IS.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces continue defensive holding operations in eastern Mosul, he said, and the coalition continues to hit ISIS targets around Mosul.

About 75 percent of the Ghazlani military base southwest of Mosul has been secured, he said.

There are approximately 5,000 USA troops inside Iraq, with several hundred embedded with Iraqi security forces advancing on multiple fronts on Mosul. But total victory likely remains months away.

Other sources within the Iraqi military say their forces have entered the first neighbourhood of the western half of Iraq's second-largest city.

"The Iraqi people, the Iraqi military and the Iraqi political leadership recognizes what they're up against and the value of the coalition and the partnership in particular with the United States, Mattis told reporters Monday on a trip to Baghdad". The federal police seized the town of Albu Saif, which overlooks the airport. Counter-terrorism forces clashed with Islamic State inside the southwestern district of al-Mamoun and took full control of the Ghozlani military base on Friday, Major General Sami al-Aridi, a senior commander, told Reuters.

Earlier this month, it was reported the Pentagon was looking into options for sending conventional ground forces into Syria, and an early draft of an executive order written shortly after Trump took office showed that the administration was considering using US forces to create "safe zones" in Syria.

The Joint Operations Command coordinating the fight against IS in Iraq released its own statement stating that the strike took place on Friday and containing some video footage. "In Mosul, Iraqi government forces and their USA -led coalition partners have significantly restricted themselves in terms of the firepower they are using, in order to save the lives of civilians".

The western offensive will face challenges in the narrow and winding streets that are not conducive to heavy, armored vehicles.

Aid organisations had feared an unprecedented exodus before the start of the fighting in the east four months ago but a significant majority of residents stayed at home despite reporting very hard living conditions and low food supplies. In addition, Iraqi forces have a "strong foothold" on liberating the Mosul airport, Davis said. ISIS is the term most known and understood by the American public, and it is what our leadership uses.

Despite denials from the US military, Reuters has confirmed that Shiite militias closely aligned with the Iranian government and the Islamic Republic's terrorist proxy Hezbollah are actively participating in the offensive to liberate of Mosul.

Days after expanding the fight for of Mosul, Iraq's security forces are pushing further into the strategic city's western portion, focusing on its airport.

  • Leroy Wright