16:06 Nov. 10, 2016
After three weeks of heavy warfare, Iraqi army advances slowly
Iraqi forces preparing to advance in the south of Mosul after breaching Islamic State's first defence lines in the eastern districts of the city, Reuters reports on Thursday.
In particular, Iraqi special forces are getting ready for an assault near the city's southern airport to increase pressure on Jihadist militants waging heavy urban warfare.
According to the plans, antiterrorist troops are meant to keep advancing north up the western bank of the Tigris River.
"We need to put wider pressure on the enemy in different areas," said Major-General Thamer al-Husseini, commander of the elite police unit which is run by the Shi'ite-controlled Interior Ministry, noting that operations to retake Mosul would resume within two days.
Iraqi command also claimed that the Islamic State militants rendered the contested airport to make it unusable for counter-terrorist forces.
The Iraqi governmental forces supported by the U.S.-led coalition, Kurdish Peshmerga troops and local Shiite militia launched an operation in October to drive the IS militants out of their last urban stronghold in the country. About 100.000 troops including special rapid response forces and armoured brigades withstand heavy urban warfare against 5000 ultra-hardline Jihadist militants.