2nd gas attack launched on Iraq troops in Mosul

Reuters

Reuters

The Iraqi army said Sunday 2900 Islamic State members were killed over the past few days in western Mosul as US -backed operations continue to clear the remaining districts of the region from militants.

An Iraqi command spokesman said Sunday that Western Mosul's Old City district, a strategic ISIS militants' bastion, has become entirely encircled by Iraqi government forces.

The front has hardly moved for over a month.

"Some days like yesterday (there was) significant amount of progress, other days there is not much progress but progress nevertheless", he said.

Flooding has made all bridges across the Tigris in and out of western Mosul impassable, cutting off aid supplies and escape routes for people fleeing the Islamic State-held part of the Iraqi city.

"One of the things it's very important to understand is that millions of people have been able to return to their homes because of the rollback of ISIS territorial gains", he said. "The terrain literally changes from neighborhood to neighborhood. the nature of the enemy, how the population reacts".

"Nothing has changed in terms of air support".

"The Daesh terrorist gangs tried to block the advance of our forces by using shells filled with toxic chemical material, but the effect was limited", said an Iraqi military statement, calling ISIS by the Arabic acronym.

A human rights activist said many families in Mosul are so desperate they are eating street cats, birds and grass due to the lack of food.

They also announce that the targeted location was in fact a "fighting position" for Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allies in the USA mission to fight the Islamic State.

The self-styled Islamic State terrorist group now controls less than 7% of Iraq, down from the 40% it held almost three years ago, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

However, he said the militants would fight to the end and there are no signs they would run out of ammunition soon.

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