Iraqi troops offensive against ISIS in Mosul

Camille Rivera
June 19, 2017

Three years after they went missing, the government on Friday said that 39 Indian construction workers mostly from Punjab, who were taken hostage by Islamic State militants in Iraq's war-torn Mosul, were alive and "everything possible" was being done to ensure their safe return.

In Syria, the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, made up predominantly of Kurdish fighters, have seized territory to the north, east and west of Raqqa, Islamic State's Syrian bastion.

Iraqi forces have begun their assault on Mosul's Old City as they press their battle to retake the the rest of the northern city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The Syrian army said last week that it has reached a border point with Iraqi north of Tanf, as the Tanf itself is controlled by USA forces, which struck the Syrian army several times to keep it away from the Tanf border crossing.

The campaign to liberate Mosul entered its ninth month on Saturday and if the forces succeed in driving out the militant group from the city it will effectively spell the end of the caliphate in Iraq. They took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched the battle in the west in February.

Iraqi forces for five days have used loudspeakers to urge Islamic State militants in the Old City to surrender.

The operation, launched at dawn Sunday after a barrage of airstrikes from the US -led coalition, aims to retake Mosul's Old City from the militant group.

Syrian troops in the area are preparing to march on Islamic State positions to the north, in the Euphrates River Valley. The extremists now control only a handful of neighborhoods in and around the Old City. "We made all preparations to evacuate them from the frontlines", army colonel Salam Faraj told Reuters.

IS snipers are shooting at families trying to flee as part of a tactic to keep civilians as human shields, said the UN.

Al-Waleed is across from the Syrian border town of Al-Tanf, site of a US base used to aid forces fighting IS and the government and allies of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's six-year civil war.

"The operation now is about street fighting, air and artillery strikes will be limited because the area is heavily populated and the buildings fragile", CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told al-Hadath TV in Dubai.

According to the Interior Ministry's statement, Iraqi police, army and anti-terrorism forces have jointly begun advancing towards the region from three sides.

The Russian military recently claimed to have killed the terror chief in an airstrike in Syria last month.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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