VIDEO: Street Fight! Iraqi Army Makes New Push against ISIS in Mosul
Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) Commander, Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi, whose forces are spearheading the Mosul offensive, said troops had launched an operation against the militants in the Masaref and Sukar districts on the eastern outskirts of Mosul.
Heavy gunfire echoed across the neighborhood as CTS forces, backed by armored personnel carriers, cleared houses, one by one, to flush out Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) militants who might be inside.
The offensive to take Mosul started on October 17 with air and ground support from a US-led coalition.
Mosul is already ringed to the north, south and east by Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces.
The US-trained CTS breached Islamic State defenses in east Mosul at the end of October.
The CTS Special Forces spearheading the advance into Mosul are part of a 100,000-strong force of army, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shia “Popular Mobilisation” forces aiming to drive Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) from the largest city under their control in Iraq or Syria.
Mosul is still home to nearly 1.5 million people, who risk being caught up in brutal urban warfare.
The United Nations has warned of a potential humanitarian crisis and a refugee exodus. Iraqi officials say Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) is holding the civilian population as human shields.