IRAQI FORCES BEGAN OPERATION IN THE WEST OF MOSUL

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Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation Sunday to dislodge Islamic State terrorists from the western half of Mosul city.

Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation Sunday to dislodge Islamic State terrorists from the western half of Mosul city.

A battle that is expected to be prolonged and difficult because of a densely packed civilian population and older, narrower streets.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during his a televised speech on the state TV announced the start of the operation, saying the government forces were moving to “liberate the people of Mosul from ISIS oppression and terrorism forever”.

Al-Abadi called on security forces to deal with civilians properly and respect human rights.

U.S.-led coalition jets struck militant positions southwest of Mosul, artillery fired toward the city.

Iraqi special operations forces, regular army and federal police units are taking part in the offensive along with government-sanctioned paramilitary forces, made up mainly of Shiite militias, operating on the city’s outskirts.

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