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"The noose is tightening on Mosul."
« on: October 18, 2016, 04:07:13 PM »
Mosul offensive: Territory recaptured from ISIS
By Nick Paton Walsh and Euan McKirdy, CNN
Updated 0707 GMT (1507 HKT) October 18, 2016


Near Mosul, Iraq (CNN)A suicide car bomb, sowing panic as it plows relentlessly toward Peshmerga positions. An ISIS fighter who ambushes Kurdish troops from a concealed tunnel before blowing himself up.

These were the visceral indications of how dedicated and single-minded Mosul's ISIS occupiers can be, and equally how bloody and grinding Iraq's battle to take back the city could be.

As dawn broke Tuesday, the second day of the offensive to liberate Iraq's second largest city from ISIS, a diverse coalition of Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga allies and thousands of Iraqi irregulars gritted their teeth and prepared to again meet militant forces in the dusty scrubland outside the city.

One Iraqi soldier was killed and another two injured while repelling car suicide bombs targeting troops around 30 miles south of the city, according to Maj. Amin Shekhani of the Iraqi army. He added that 10 ISIS fighters were killed in the operation.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Monday that Iraqi forces have "met their objectives" so far and are "ahead of schedule," but added that the offensive "will be a difficult campaign that could take some time."

Since attacking at first light Monday, Iraqi forces had made "substantial progress along several avenues of advance," in the "largest battle (Iraqi forces) have taken on to date," US Central Command spokesman Col. John Dorrian told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"The noose is tightening on Mosul."

More than 75 square miles of territory and as many as nine villages had been taken from ISIS control.

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