Canadian troops operating in east Mosul

Canada announced on Thursday it will extend for three months its mission against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, where it is part of a US-led global coalition.

Votel told a congressional committee that 490 Iraqi security personnel were killed and more than 3,000 wounded in the battle for east Mosul, while 284 have been killed and more than 1,600 wounded in fighting for the west.

A statement issued by Abadi's press office on Thursday said that the Iraqi premier received a phone call from Trump during which they discussed the consolidation of ties between the two countries in all fields, the victories achieved against ISIS, and the worldwide support to Iraq in the fight against terrorism.

Army Col. Joseph Scrocca told reporters the U.S. has video of ISIS forcing civilians into a building, and killing a civilian who resisted. "These people have suffered enormously and they go on suffering", he said. Islamic State fighters then positioned themselves inside the same structure to fire on Iraqi forces, according to an account provided in a briefing for Pentagon reporters by Scrocca.

"I could just hear her voice", said Ala'a. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. At times the military will decide to wait rather than execute an immediate strike.

Airstrikes by Iraqi Air Force have been vital to the months-long operation to retake Mosul from Daesh.

Votel described the decision to let "on-scene commanders" call in airstrikes as a return to the standard US doctrine for conducting urban warfare.

The UN said earlier this month that some 600,000 civilians were still in west Mosul, 400,000 of them trapped in siege-like conditions in the Old City.

Illustrating the danger, a suicide truck bombing claimed by IS killed at least 14 people at the main southern entrance to Baghdad on Wednesday evening.

IOM Iraq's Chief of Mission highlighted the significant role of donor countries in addressing the overwhelming needs of displaced Iraqis, host communities, and returnees across Iraq, and stressed that IOM will continue to provide relief and humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected families in cooperation with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners.

General Stephen Townsend, the senior USA commander in Iraq, said this week a coalition strike in the northern city earlier this month "probably" killed dozens of civilians.

As of 30 March, more than 367,000 individuals in total have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas, and 287,000 are now displaced, since the operation to retake the city from ISIL launched in October 2016. He said the battle in the western portion of the city will be the toughest phase of the war, adding, "it is there that the enemy has invested two-and-a-half years of defensive preparations".

  • Leroy Wright