Iraq forces attack Islamic State-held Mosul airport

They started closing in on the airport four days ago


Afp February 23, 2017
The ongoing offensive in Mosul by Iraqi forces is paying dividends. PHOTO: REUTERS

AL BUSEIF: Iraqi forces backed by jets, drones and gunships attacked the Mosul airport on Thursday, a key step in a renewed offensive against the militants defending their stronghold on the city's west bank.

Forces including federal police and the interior ministry's elite Rapid Response moved in convoys towards the disused airport.

According to reports, they fired a barrage of mortar fire while attack helicopters and other aircraft cleared the way for ground troops.

Iraqi forces retake Mosul airport as humanitarian crisis continues

The United States (US)-led coalition has played a key role in supporting Iraqi forces with air strikes and advisers on the ground, and on Thursday US forces in armoured vehicles were moving on the airport with Iraqi forces.

"We will reach it today God willing,"Rapid Response force Brigadier General Abbas al-Juburi said.

Thousands of security personnel on Sunday launched a fresh push in their four-month-old offensive to retake Mosul, the second city and the last stronghold of the militants in Iraq.

They started closing in on the airport four days ago. It is unclear how many jihadists are defending the airport but US officials said Monday that only around 2,000 remain in Mosul.

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