Members of Hashid Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fire towards Islamic State militant positions in west of Mosul, Iraq, December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraqi security forces Thursday began the second phase of their offensive against Daesh (ISIS) militants in Mosul, pushing from three directions into eastern districts where the battle has been deadlocked for nearly a month. Since the offensive to capture Mosul began 10 weeks ago, counterterrorism forces have retaken a quarter of the city, the militants' last major stronghold in Iraq, but their advance has been slow and troops on other fronts have made little progress.Thursday, more than 5,000 soldiers and police troops who had redeployed from Mosul's southern outskirts entered half a dozen southeastern neighborhoods, while counterterrorism forces advanced in Al-Quds and Karama districts after receiving reinforcements.The battle for Mosul involves 100,000 Iraqi troops, members of the Kurdish security forces and Shiite militiamen.An army colonel said Iraqi forces had suffered few casualties so far.
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