IS launches chlorine gas attacks in western Mosul

The military also told the people to hide into basements of their houses or to stay in the downstairs of their buildings, if no basement available, when clashes erupt in their neighborhoods, the statement said.

USA -backed Iraqi forces launched an offensive in February to liberate west Mosul from IS fighters who captured the city almost three years ago. "Among the dead were two judges and head of the high committee to supervise ISIS military bases", Jawdat detailed. "This is in addition to the killing of Abdullah Yunis Badrani, known as Abu Ayub Atar who was an Isis general mufti, near Jimhuri hospital".

In Iraq, Islamic State militants have launched a gas attack in a newly-liberated area in western Mosul.

Using satellite imagery and local researches, the most recent evaluation confirms that western Mosul has undergone extensive destruction, "far greater than in the east", according to a senior United Nations aid official in the country. In a related development, the federal police command announced on Thursday that Iraqi troops penetrated the old city towards the Nuri mosque in the western part of Mosul. Said Kamel al-Alusi said.

Dorrian said Iraqi security forces are making "incremental progress" because of a combination of ISIS strategies. "Nothing is more important", concluded the Humanitarian Coordinator.

She stressed that homes are being destroyed, schools and health centres damaged and that crucial public infrastructure, including electricity and water stations, are in ruins.

The brutal fighting has taken a massive toll on the civilian population.

The UN expects many more to flee, Grande said.

  • Leroy Wright