Iraqi forces retake key bridge in western Mosul

One bombing attack was directed at a five-story building in the Al Jumhuri medical complex in western Mosul that a U.S. official said had been turned into an Islamic State command center.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the Iraqi airstrikes in Syria in a statement, saying the border towns of Boukamal and Husseibah were targeted in response to recent bombings in Baghdad linked to Islamic State group operations there.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a February 12 memo that using the term ISIS to refer to the terrorist group, which has occupied large swathes of areas in Iraq and Syria, will create consistency, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Residents in the village of Sahaji were trying to escape the fighting as Iraqi forces advance on western Mosul. Our specialist teams are also working in camps to support vulnerable women and in local communities outside the city to identify and help separated children.

Federal police and an elite interior ministry unit known as Rapid Response had battled their way into the airport as Islamic State fighters fought back using suicide auto bombs.

The precise number of Islamic State fighters in Mosul is not clear, though some military officials estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 militants are there.

They are facing a 100,000-strong force made up of Iraqi armed forces, regional Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Iranian-trained Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups.

"This morning, the heroes of the air force attacked enemy targets with F-16s inside Syria, in the Husseibeh and Albu Kamal areas", it said. Aid groups warned on Friday that the most unsafe phase of the offensive was about to begin.

Hammam al-Alil, Iraq-Twenty four hours a day, American artillery booms from dug-in positions outside of this small town on the banks of the Tigris River, providing Iraqi troops pushing into western Mosul with accurate firepower within minutes of relaying the request through their American advisors.

Meanwhile, UN aid workers say they are extremely concerned by the humanitarian situation in remaining IS-held areas of western Mosul, where about 750,000 people are believed to be living.

"They began shelling us arbitrarily, so we hid in the bathrooms". Iraqi forces seized control of the airport overnight Thursday.

The U.S. -led coalition and Russian Federation also carry out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, where the government of Bashar al-Assad is locked in a brutal civil war with mainly Sunni Muslim rebels trying to unseat his regime.

Abu Naba, 37, said he was surprised how quickly the militants had been driven out. "And from what we have heard it is not just a grave but also an execution site".

A woman with a baby wrapped in a blanket on her lap said she had given birth in the house 22 days ago because it was too risky to reach a hospital.

  • Leroy Wright