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Islamic State has lost most territory it held in Iraq.

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Islamic State has lost most of the territory it has held in Iraq since 2014, an Iraqi military spokesman .At the height of its power, the militant group controlled about 40 percent of Iraq, joint operations command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told a news conference.That area has been whittled down to about 6.8 percent of Iraqi territory after extensive military operations, which are still going on in the city of Mosul, he said. Islamic State militants still control the towns of Qaim, Tal Afar and Hawija in Iraq, as well as Raqqa, their de-facto capital in Syria. The coalition battling Islamic State is made up of tens of thousands of members of the Iraqi security forces, led by the army, and thousands of Shi’ite volunteers, many from militia groups, commonly referred to as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). The eastern half of the city is now completely under the control of Iraqi security forces, Rasool said. But the push against Islamic State in Western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces fighting in a warren of small streets in the old part of the city. The federal police said in a statement on Tuesday they have been reinforcing their positions in Western Mosul in preparation for a push on the al-Nuri Mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.

 

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