Iraqi army fires towards Islamic State militant positions in Mosul from the village of Adhbah, south of Mosul, Iraq, December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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Iraqi army units surged toward the center of Mosul Tuesday in an attack from the city's southeastern edges that could give fresh impetus to the 7-week-old battle for Daesh's (ISIS) Iraqi stronghold.Some 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, security forces, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and mainly Shiite paramilitary forces are participating in the Mosul campaign that began on Oct. 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led coalition.A colonel in the armored division said Tuesday's assault, launched at 6 a.m., aimed to ultimately reach Mosul's Fourth Bridge, the southernmost of five bridges spanning the river. The colonel said Tuesday's offensive aimed to overwhelm the militants, who have put up stiff resistance but are hugely outnumbered by the attacking forces.The Sunni militants, who seized Mosul in mid-2014, are believed to be dug in across the city, but a U.S. general in the coalition supporting Iraqi forces told Reuters they appeared to have committed additional defenses to the fight in the east.
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