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Iraqi forces fight to break through ISIS’ last four defenses in Mosul

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Fierce armed clashes between the advancing Iraqi troops and ISIS militants are taking place around the last four districts the group holds in the western half of Mosul embedded with the Iraqi army in western Mosul, Rudaw’s Ranja Jamal reported on Sunday that heavy confrontations are ongoing in Najar neighborhood as the army managed to break into it the area and have Bab al-Sinjar besieged. Abdulwahab Saadi, an official with the US-trained Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS), told Rudaw that large segments of Najar were controlled by the ICTS forces, who had begun to advance on Bab al-Sinjar. Saadi said ISIS militants were putting up stiff resistance given they are on the brink of final defeat in Mosul. Plumes of smoke could be seen covering the skyline over Najar neighborhood as ISIS was being bombed on the ground and from the air.  ICTS  officials said in a press conference on Saturday that Najar neighborhood remained for them to liberate and their mission would be accomplished in western Mosul after they took control of 47 neighborhoods in the western half of the city of Mosul in the course of the last three months. Saadi explained to Rudaw that ISIS retains control of just four neighborhoods overall in Mosul, including the Old Mosul district, Shifa, Saha, and Bab al-Sinjar. SIS has placed a large number of militants in these four remaining places, he added. Old Mosul remains the last stronghold of ISIS in the city. In previous battles the army faced strong resistance when they tried to make advances against ISIS militants in Old Mosul, a more densely populated neighborhood with narrow streets. As a result, Iraqi armed forces were forced to shift their focus and instead open a new front in northwestern Mosul. raqi armed forces launched a massive assault on ISIS held districts in northwestern Mosul over the weekend.

Germany signed an agreement to provide over $521 million to fund reconstruction Iraqi infrastructure damaged due to the war against the Islamic State

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Germany signed an agreement with the government of Iraq on Monday to provide a €500 million euro (over $521 million) credit facility to fund investments aimed at reconstructing Iraqi infrastructure damaged due to the war against the Islamic State during these years. The funding comes from the KfW Banking Group, with a small team of German officials to advise Iraq on how to distribute it. “We want to help the Iraqi government rebuild public infrastructure so that the people who had to flee IS terrorism can return to their homes” the words of the foreign minister Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. After he have noted taht the liberation of eastern Mosul marked an important success: “Islamic State cannot be defeated militarily alone” and “More engagement and investment to ensure functioning water and energy supplies and transportation systems are needed to transform these cities and areas into peaceful, vibrant and liveable homelands. The credit, which is the biggest yet to Iraq, came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised support to Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi last year.

Coalition strikes in Iraq

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en/Defence di

Attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft as well as rocket artillery conducted six strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

— Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units, suppressed three mortar teams, damaged 14 supply routes, disabled a bridge, and destroyed five mortars, two supply caches, four fighting positions, a command and control node, a weapons cache, and a vehicle bomb factory.

— Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

— Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position, a mortar, and a UAV.

— Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed a semi-truck.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service has retaken 40 out of 56 districts in eastern Mosul

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Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service has so far retaken 40 out of 56 districts in eastern Mosul from ISIS militants, the force’s commander was quoted as saying on Thursday as forces struggle to reach the east side of the Tigris River. The force’s commander, Abdul Ghani al-Assadi said “the first phase of operations to liberate the eastern shore has been concluded with 40 districts”. The Iraqi government forces halped by tribal militias and US-led air forces, two thirds of Nineveh have been retaken. Commanders from the US-led coalition have been quoted recently as saying that ISIS lost 75 percent of its fighters in Iraq and Syria. ISIS remains in control of several areas of the western section, which is adjacent to its strongholds in Syria, but Al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces are reporting daily advances towards liberating ISIS locations in that region.

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