Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters advance on Mosul ahead of ISIL battle

CCTV News

Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters advance on Mosul ahead of ISIL battle

Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga troops are advancing toward the Mosul area with support from international special forces. But a lengthy battle lies ahead.

CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid explains.

Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters advance on Mosul ahead of ISIL battle

Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters advance on Mosul ahead of ISIL battle

Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga troops are advancing toward the Mosul area with support from international special forces. But a lengthy battle lies ahead. CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid explains.

ISIL took control of Iraq’s second biggest city two years ago, combined forces are now on a mission to take it back.

“Up to now, 200 square kilometres have been liberated. This is the first phase of the Mosul operation. It has started from the east and from the southeast of Mosul and it is a joint operation between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army,” Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani said.

Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga troops, aided by multinational special forces and U.S. led airstrikes are advancing toward Mosul from the East and South.

That is pushing ISIL operatives West to Syria, but they’re not going without a fight.

ISIL suicide bombers are ambushing advancing troops and there’s broad speculation ISIL has set booby-traps throughout Mosul

Peshmerga forces said they’ve cleared numerous villages outside Mosul so far. Beyond the threats of IED’s, booby traps and suicide bombers, there’s the looming issue of civilians. Area residents are being warned to take shelter in their homes and cut gas lines. But staying at home puts them at risk of being caught in the crossfire.

A million and a half people live in the Mosul area – they’ve already started fleeing their homes.

Aid agencies warn: a mass exodus could present the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis this year.

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