ISIS uses chemical weapons twice in Mosul over weekend

They spoke anonymously as they were not authorized to speak to media.

US-backed Iraqi forces are now battling ISIS militants in the more densely-populated western half of Mosul. While admitting that battles in the western side of Mosul proved more hard that those in the east, Iraqi and coalition commanders said IS's influence was receding as many top leaders were either counted dead or tracked escaping the battlefield.

Now, eastern Mosul has been recaptured from the militants and efforts are underway to rehabilitate soccer fields, even as the battle for the city's west continues on the other side of the Tigris River.

The Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve says that terrorists of Islamic State around Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq should either surrender or be killed.

They were some of the around 400,000 people still in western Mosul where Iraqi military forces are trying to dislodge IS from the Old City. Iraqi Christians around Mosul celebrated Palm Sunday for the first time in three years, including at a church burned by ISIS in Qaraqosh.

The chemical attack on Sunday occurred in a recently-liberated area of Mosul, where the Federal Police and Rapid Response forces are advancing towards the old city which is still roaming with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists.

At least 13 civilians were killed by a US -led coalition airstrike in western Mosul on Wednesday, according to a local Air Force pilot.

Iraqi forces have been making "incremental progress" in their fight to retake west Mosul as ISIS has increased its use of human shields in their last stand.

It also said the militants were increasingly using suicide motorbikes attacks.

They also announce that the targeted location was in fact a "fighting position" for Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allies in the US mission to fight the Islamic State.

ISIS is apparently overwhelmed by the Iraqi security forces consisting of army members as well as tens of thousands of Shiite and Sunni volunteers from militia groups.

  • Leroy Wright