Iraq pushes into town near Mosul after ISIL assault on Kirkuk

CCTV News

An Iraqi soldier inspects one of the damaged buildings after clashes between Iraqi security forces and members of the Islamic state in the city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Oct, 22, 2016. (AP Photo) An Iraqi soldier inspects one of the damaged buildings after clashes between Iraqi security forces and members of the Islamic state in the city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Oct, 22, 2016. (AP Photo)

The Iraqi army pushed into a town near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul on Saturday, a day after dozens of ISIL militants stormed into the northern city of Kirkuk, setting off two days of clashes and killing at least 80 people, mostly security forces.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports.

Iraq pushes into town near Mosul after ISIL assault on Kirkuk

Iraq pushes into town near Mosul after ISIL assault on Kirkuk

The Iraqi army pushed into a town near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul on Saturday, a day after dozens of ISIL militants stormed into the northern city of Kirkuk, setting off two days of clashes and killing at least 80 people, mostly security forces. CCTV's Natalie Carney reports.

The Iraqi army said the 9th Division has pushed into the town of Hamdaniyah, also known as Qaraqosh and Bakhdida, and raised the flag over its government compound, but the troops were likely still facing resistance in and around the town. Similar past announcements have often proved premature.

The town is around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mosul. Iraqi forces launched a wide-scale offensive earlier this week aimed at retaking Mosul, the country’s second largest city, which fell to ISIL in 2014.

Hamdaniyah is believed to be largely uninhabited. ISIL has heavily mined the approaches to Mosul, and Iraqi forces have had to contend with roadside bombs, snipers and suicide truck bombs as they move closer to the city.

An Iraqi television station says one of its reporters was shot dead near Mosul, the second journalist in as many days to be killed while covering the conflict.

Iraqi forces retook the town of Bartella, around 15 kilometers (nine miles) east of Mosul, earlier this week, but are still facing pockets of resistance in the area.

In Kirkuk, meanwhile, some fighting continued a day after the ISIL assault on the city, some 170 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Mosul. The wave of attacks in and around Kirkuk appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from Mosul.

Story by The Associated Press.