Children welcome Iraqi special forces regaining control of Mishraq neighborhood from Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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Daesh (ISIS) fighters have stepped up counterattacks on Iraqi forces in Mosul amid bad weather as the U.S.-backed offensive to capture their last major city stronghold in Iraq enters its third month.The Iraqi military estimates the number of militants in the city at 5,000 to 6,000 .A mainly Western coalition is providing air and ground support to the offensive, led by the U.S. with more than 5,000 troops deployed in Iraq. Mosul is divided into two parts by the Tigris River that runs through its center.The United Nations earlier this month said nearly 2,000 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed across Iraq in November, a figure Iraq denied without indicating the losses among its troops.
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