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Monday, October 17, 2016

Iraqi forces seek to deliver death blow to IS in Mosul

Al-SHURA, Iraq (AFP) — Some 30,000 Iraqi forces were involved in Monday’s offensive to retake Mosul and deal a death blow to the Islamic State group’s “caliphate” in the city where it was declared two years ago.
The federal forces are leading the push, backed by a 60-nation US-led coalition, in what is expected to be a long and difficult assault on IS’s last major Iraqi stronghold.
Iraqi forces could be seen readying weapons and ammunitions as columns of armored vehicles headed towards Mosul from the town of Al-Shura, some 45 kilometers (30 miles) south of the city, an AFP photographer said.
The Pentagon described the long-awaited operation as a “decisive moment” in the fight against IS but the US-led coalition’s top commander warned it could last weeks or more.
The beginning of the assault also saw aid groups voice fears for the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the city, with IS expected to use them as human shields. READ MORE