Iraqi soldiers hit by Islamic State gas attack in western Mosul
09:14, Apr 20, 2017
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The ISIS militants have also used chemical weapons several times against the Iraqi civilians in the city of Mosul, since the army troops started the special operation to recapture terrorist group's de facto capital.
In Iraq, flooding in Tigris River has cut off aid supplies and escape routes for people fleeing Islamic State militants in Mosul city.
An Iraqi military officer says Islamic State militants have launched a gas attack in a newly liberated area in western Mosul.
But "the final neighbourhoods will be the most hard to recapture, especially the Old City and the remaining neighbourhoods in northwestern Mosul", Martin said.
Around four hundred thousand people are still in the city where Iraqi military forces are trying to dislodge IS from the Old City area.
Brigadier General Rick Uribe, a senior coalition commander, lamented that they find it hard to negotiate alleyways and narrow streets.
Iraqi Kurdish forces were involved in the initial days of the operation but stopped short of the city, while pro-government paramilitary forces were tasked with moving on the IS-held town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul.
Lise Grande, U.N. Iraq humanitarian coordinator, says: "The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins".
"The Daesh terrorist gangs tried to block the advance of our forces by using shells filled with toxic chemical material, but the effect was limited", said an Iraqi military statement, calling ISIS by the Arabic acronym.
The NGO said another coalition raid targeted a house where a 42-member family was living in Bab Sinjar district in western Mosul on April 15.
The UN estimated that another half million civilians were still in ISIS-controlled areas of west Mosul. In a related development, the federal police command announced on Thursday that Iraqi troops penetrated the old city towards the Nuri mosque in the western part of Mosul.
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IS had become an offshoot of al Qaeda in Iraq by 2004, but IS later broke off from the group and became its rival. Mosul , the largest city in northern Iraq , was captured by the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim fighters in mid 2014.
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