Iraqi forces launch push to retake western Mosul from IS
BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces have launched an operation to retake the western half of Mosul from the Islamic State group.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operation early Sunday morning on state television, saying government forces were moving to "liberate the people of Mosul from Daesh oppression forever", using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Southwest of Mosul, near the city's IS-held airport, plumes of smoke were seen rising into the sky as coalition aircraft bombed militant positions. Further south at an Iraqi base, federal police forces were gathering and getting ready to move north.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul last month, but the west remains in the hands of entrenched extremists.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Funeral service held in Lafayette for former Gov. Kathleen Blanco
Local customers may be affected as AT&T employees go on strike
Drainage crews prepare for potential weekend downpour
Man who claimed God told him to cause deadly crash being sent...
Algae continues to take over LSU lakes, fish ordered