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Islamic State blows up Mosul mosque where Baghdadi became ‘caliph’

MOSUL: Militants on Wednesday blew up Mosul’s iconic leaning minaret and the adjacent mosque where their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014 declared himself “caliph” in his only public appearance, Iraqi officials said. The Islamic State group swiftly issued a statement via its Amaq propaganda agency blaming a US strike, but the US-led coalition condemned…

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Iraq rocked by three suicide blasts; death toll 42

BAGHDAD: Three suicide bombings in Baghdad and a city to the west have killed at least 42 people, targeting Iraqis breaking their fast and elderly people collecting their pensions, officials said. The strikes came as forces fought to retake the last areas held by the Islamic State group in their former stronghold of Mosul. The…

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US probe finds over 100 civilians killed in Mosul air strike

A Pentagon investigation has concluded that at least 105 civilians died in an anti-IS strike in the Iraqi city of Mosul in March, officials said Thursday, but they blamed the toll on a secondary explosion of jihadist munitions. A US aircraft delivered a single precision-guided bomb into a building in west Mosul on March 17,…

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Daesh ‘on brink of defeat’ in Iraq

BAGHDAD:  Iraqi forces have recaptured nearly 90 percent of west Mosul from the Islamic State group and jihadists in the city are on the “brink of total defeat,” military spokesmen said Tuesday. Iraqi forces launched the massive operation to retake Mosul from IS nearly seven months ago, fighting their way to the jihadist-held city, retaking…

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Iraqi forces battle to Mosul mosque, 17 killed in Baghdad

MOSUL: Iraqi special forces and police fought Islamic State militants to edge closer to the al-Nuri mosque in western Mosul on Wednesday, tightening their control around the landmark site and in Baghdad a suicide truck bomb killed at least 17 people. The close-quarters fighting is focussed on the Old City surrounding the mosque, where Islamic…

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As Iraqi forces fight to take Mosul, car bomb in Baghdad kills 23 people

MOSUL, IRAQ: Islamic State militants captured an Iraqi police colonel and eight other officers on Monday after they ran out of ammunition during a skirmish in the battle for western Mosul, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

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IS Mosul commander killed, government forces battle for bridge

MOSUL, IRAQ: Iraqi government forces killed the Islamic State commander of Mosul’s Old City on Tuesday as the battle for the militants’ last stronghold in Iraq focused on a bridge crossing the Tigris river.

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Iraq forces converge on Mosul airport

Federal police forces, as well as elite units from the interior ministry, army soldiers and Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary fighters, launched a major assault on Sunday. On the second day of the renewed offensive, they pushed northwards towards Mosul airport, which lies on the southern approach to the city, on the east bank of…

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Iraq launches assault on Daesh-held west Mosul

OREIJ: Iraqi forces launched an offensive Sunday on militants defending Mosul’s west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the country’s second city. They swiftly retook five villages and set their sights on Mosul airport, which lies just south of the city, marking a new phase in…

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Iraqi forces battle IS militants inside Mosul university complex

MOSUL: Iraqi special forces battled Islamic State militants inside the Mosul University campus on Saturday in a second day of fierce clashes in the complex. “There are still clashes. We entered the university and cleared the technical institute, dentistry and antiquities departments,” Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi of the  Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) told a Reuters…

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Frightened civilians flee as Iraq forces battle IS in Mosul

MOSUL: Frightened Iraqi civilians hurry down a muddy street in Mosul as gunshots echo through the neighbourhood and a helicopter wheels overhead, firing a barrage of bullets towards militants below. Others choose to stay, hanging white flags from their homes and periodically peering out as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group for control of…

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1,600 Kurdish peshmerga killed in war on IS: spokesman

ARBIL: A total of 1,600 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been killed since the Islamic State group took over large parts of the country in June 2014, peshmerga officials said Thursday.

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Suicide truck bomb kills about 100 in Iraq, mostly Iranian pilgrims

BAGHDAD: A suicide truck bomb killed about 100 people, most of them Iranian Shi’ite pilgrims, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad on Thursday, police and medical sources said.

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Iraqi troops expand foothold in Mosul

MOSUL, IRAQ: U.S.-backed Iraqi troops expanded their foothold on the eastern side of Islamic State’s stronghold of Mosul on Friday, as the group pledged to mount more suicide attacks on their offensive to take the city.

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Trump is (mostly) wrong on Mosul

Donald Trump’s grasp of international politics may sometimes be vague, but even he has noticed that there is a fight coming for Mosul. U.S. and Iraqi leaders have been signaling for weeks that a major offensive is in the offing against Iraq’s second city, by far the largest urban center held by Islamic State. In…

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IS leader confident in victory, gives first message about Mosul battle

CAIRO/BAGHDAD: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi expressed confidence in victory, in his first message after U.S.-backed Iraqi forces started an offensive to take back Mosul, the last major city under control of his group in Iraq. He also called on Islamic State fighters to invade Turkey. “This raging battle and total war, and the…

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Iraq forces fight way into Mosul

BARTALLA: Iraqi forces fought their way into IS-held Mosul on Tuesday, the military said, as a top commander declared the “true liberation” of the city from the Islamic State group had begun. Just over two weeks into the massive offensive to retake Mosul — IS’s last major stronghold in Iraq — soldiers managed to push…

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Civilians pay price of IS’s ‘smoke war’ around Mosul

The smoke from fires lit by Islamic State jihadists to provide cover from air strikes has painted the northern Iraqi sky black, providing a dramatic backdrop for the Mosul offensive. The use of smoke in warfare is likely as old as war itself but the masks and technology available to Iraqi forces in this conflict…

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Islamic State attacks Kirkuk as Iraqi forces push on Mosul

BAGHDAD: Islamic State launched a major counter-attack on the city of Kirkuk on Friday as Iraqi and Kurdish forces pursued operations to seize territory around Mosul in preparation for an offensive on the jihadists’ last major stronghold in Iraq. Islamic State’s assault on Kirkuk, which lies in an oil- producing region, killed 18 members of…

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Mosul update: Islamic State takes 550 families to be human shields

MOSUL: Islamic State militants have taken 550 families from villages around Mosul and are holding them close to Islamic State locations in the Iraqi city, probably as human shields, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office said on Friday. U.N. spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani, citing “corroborated information” from the area, said the office was also…

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Iraqi forces moving ‘faster than expected’ on Mosul: Iraq PM

PARIS: Iraqi forces are “advancing faster than expected” in a major offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State jihadists, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Thursday. “We are advancing faster than we had expected and planned,” Abadi said, speaking on a videoconference link to an international meeting co-hosted by France and Iraq on the future…

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