“At hour 06:00 forces of the army ‘s 9th Division and the 73rd Brigade of the 5th Division and forces of the federal police including the Rapid Response units attacked neighborhoods of Mshirfa, al-Kanisa and al-Haramat neighborhoods north of the right side of the city of Mosul”, the military statement read. “Your sons are now fighting to break defenses of the enemy and destroy its capabilities and they are ready to embrace either victory or martyrdom to liberate what has been remained of the Mosul city from the terrorist Daesh”, the statement continued using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. The attack would help the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and Interior Ministry Federal Police troops who were painstakingly advancing from the south, a military commander told Reuters. The militants are now besieged in the north-western corner of Mosul which includes the historic Old City centre and the Grand al-Nuri Mosque-from which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” in 2014. Heavy sustained gunfire has been a constant in the Old City area for days, where militants are hiding among residents and using the alleyways, traditional family homes and snaking narrow roads to their advantage. Tens of thousands of Mosul residents are trapped inside homes, caught in the fighting, shelling and air strikes as Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition advance in the west. The United Nations believes up to half a million people remain in the area, 400,000 of whom are in the Old City with little food, water and medicine
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had killed three Islamic State terrorists after clashes northern of Tabqa district. Sources confirmed that intense clashes between the SDF and ISIS resulted in killing three terrorists as well for destroying their cars. Hundreds of civilians fled on Thursday from the Syrian city of alTabqa, which is still held by the Islamic State terror organization, amid intense fighting between the ISIS and SDF. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that hundreds of families left al-Tabqa and its surrounding areas and headed to the SDF-held area of al-Suidia Kabira, located to the north of al-Tabqa Dam.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated two villages from Islamic State (ISIS) control during the third phase of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates to isolate the ISIS-held Syrian city of Raqqa. The two villages are situated near Swediyah al-Kabirah to the west of Raqqa. The SDF are currently advancing towards Raqqa on three fronts, and while progress during the third phase has been rapid, some fierce clashes have broken out as ISIS militants look to stem the SDF’s advance. After cutting several strategic roads, the SDF are moving closer to their aim of surrounding and isolating the Syrian city entirely, in anticipation of an operation to liberate the city from the jihadist group. That operation is believed to start within the coming weeks. The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has been steadily moving in on the jihadist group in Raqqa for the past five months. The operation to isolate the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa began on November 5, 2016.
Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said he hopes Newroz become a portent of peace and stability to the world in a statement released in various languages, including Kurdish. “On this occasion, I congratulate my sisters and brothers on Newroz day”, Erdogan said in a statement in the Kurdish language posted to Twitter to commemorate the holiday. “I hope Newroz becomes a portent of peace, stability and luxury”. His message comes as millions celebrate Newroz, the spring festival, in Diyarbakir in the southeast of Turkey amid tight security after months of fighting between security forces and Kurdish fighters.
Abadi’s remarks followed his first face-to-face meeting at the White House with Trump, who took office on Jan. 20 pledging a new strategy to defeat the hardline militant group that seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Even before Trump took office, Iraqi forces recaptured a string of major cities from Islamic State, shrank the militant group’s finances and significantly stemmed the flow of foreign fighters, all with the support of U.S.-led coalition air strikes and military advisers. A White House statement about the meeting said both Trump and Abadi agreed that “terrorism cannot be defeated by military might alone”, and the two leaders called for deepening commercial ties, including in the energy sector. At the forum, Abadi called for more financial contributions from the international community. Abadi is in Washington this week ahead of a gathering of world leaders of a coalition fighting Islamic State. In many ways, his visit comes at a high point for him after successfully appealing to Trump to remove Iraq from a list of countries included in a revamped travel ban. Trump decided this month’s revised order temporarily banning the entry of travelers from several Muslim-majority nations would not include Iraq because of its cooperation with the United States. Both the initial Jan. 27 travel ban and the revised version have been blocked by federal courts. Detractors argue the ban discriminated against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom. Trump says the measure is necessary for national security to protect the country from terrorist attacks.
With an average of 45,000 people fleeing western Mosul as Iraqi forces fight to retake densely-populated neighborhoods from ISIS, the top UN humanitarian representative to Iraq described the strain put on the humanitarian community in the country as overwhelming and nearing a breaking point. “If pace of displacement accelerates further, to be absolutely frank, it’s going to stretch us to a breaking point”, Lise Grande told reporters in teleconference briefing on Thursday, adding that 45,000 people per week have been leaving the west.OCHR, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stated that 13,350 people were displaced on March 3 alone. “We’re literally constructing around the clock”, Grande said, summarizing that when there’s a plot ready and a tent on it, mattresses inside, water and sanitation, humanitarian organizations inform the military that site is ready. Grande said 6,800 people left Mosul on Thursday, and there was space available for 24,000 people in displacement camps. “Tomorrow, if 20,000 people come out [in one day], there’s our capacity”, Grande said.
The jets received aim to support Iraqi forces in dislodging Islamic State (IS) militants from the city of Mosul. The T-50 fighter jets will soon participate in the military operations against IS terrorists, the statement said. The arrival of the new fighter jets comes as Iraqi security force backed by the anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out IS militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.
The U.S.-led Coalition said Islamic State (ISIS) militants are now completely surrounded in Mosul by Iraqi security forces. Dorrian added that 60 percent of the territories that ISIS once controlled in Iraq have now been recaptured due to the cooperation between the Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces who, he said, are fighting bravely. He also said that Iraqi forces had now liberated 17 areas of western Mosul.
The United Nations Security Council was briefed behind closed doors on the situation in Mosul by U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien and U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo that Islamic State had used chemical weapons in Mosul, where the militants are fighting an offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces to retake the city. The talks aim to reach a political solution to a conflict which erupted in March 2011 and has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many millions.
Speaking during the Sulaimani Forum at the American University of Iraqi The head of Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service said the end of the Mosul operation will mean the collapse of Islamic State in the country. Shaghati said Iraqi troops were trained to make the safety of civilians a priority, Iraqi forces help civilians while fighting ISIS. He have said that every division has a human rights lieutenant to monitor violations during operations: “I have dismissed soldiers for violating human rights,” he said. “We do not allow the violation of human rights. ISIS militants behead people and burn people to death to frighten people to avoid picking up a gun to fight against them”. “ISIS inspires death, we inspire life”, he added. “Our soldiers are full of energy, they are ready to make Mosul free of ISIS”.