Heavy Fighting against ISIS in Iraq’s Eastern Mosul, Civilians Flee
Citizens of Mosul were seen fleeing eastern suburbs of the city on Thursday (November 17) as Iraqi troops clashed with Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) militants.
Large plumes of smoke rose over residential areas around al-Zahraa in eastern Mosul, including the al-Arabi Neighborhood, amid heavy fighting and targeted strikes against the militant hideouts.
Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) troops said on Tuesday (November 15) they had taken control of the al-Zahraa area.
CTS troops had faced fierce resistance from the militants over several days, as their opposition launched waves of suicide bombers, snipers and ambushes.
The CTS Special Forces spearheading the advance in to Mosul are part of a 100,000 strong force of army, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shi'ite "Popular Mobilistaion" forces aiming to drive Islamic State from the Mosul, the largest city under their control is Iraq.
The operation, which entered its fourth week on Monday (November 14), is the most complex in Iraq in over a decade and is complicated by the presence of the more than one million civilians still living under Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) control.
More than 56,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting from villages and towns around the city to government-held areas, according to U.N. estimates.
The figure does not include the tens of thousands of people rounded up in villages around Mosul and forced to accompany Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) fighters to cover their retreat towards the city.
Source: Al Alam