THE so-called Islamic State (IS) has lost most of the territory it has held in Iraq since 2014, an Iraqi military spokesman said Tuesday. "Their ability and capability became stronger and more developed" since the jihadists shocked Iraqi security and intelligence forces with their lightning offensive in June 2104, says Mr. Hashimi.
Using satellite imagery and information from local researchers, the United Nations said in a news release Thursday it found more than 1,140 housing sites have been destroyed in western Mosul, even though only about half have been retaken by Iraqi forces.
Dorrian said ISIS is using "no single tactic" to slow Iraqi forces' progress: "They have a layered defense and they've had two years to build it".
A US-led coalition air strike in support of local forces fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria accidentally killed 18 of the friendly fighters, the coalition said on Thursday.
Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters today via video from Baghdad that ISIS "has intensified their exploitation of civilians by moving them in larger numbers into harm's way".
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The civil guard based on the island of Mallorca said their ships had found two boats with 14 men each both on Thursday and Friday. Those who had disappeared were "probably dead", Qassem said, adding that bad weather had prevented the recovery of their bodies.
Two men came to ask Dr Alomary what they should do with the remains of several relatives who were among dozens of civilians killed in an air strike by the USA -led coalition on the western Mosul Jadida district last month.
"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".
"Unfortunately, one of the ones that's most problematic and hard is their use of human shields". The Iraqi counterterrorism service and federal police are pressing more deeply into the dense, urban terrain along the Euphrates River and the old part of the city, Dorrian said, while elements of the Iraqi army continue clearing territory to the north and west of the city center. "They aren't going anywhere - they will be defeated and the people of Mosul will be free".
REUTERS/Zohra BensemraSmoke is seen rising after a rocket landed in the middle of the Iraqi rapid response forces' position during a battle against Islamic State militants in the south of Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 19, 2017.
"Prime Minister Haider Abadi's been very clear on that, and it's been an enduring principle of the campaign throughout" he said.