Iraq says Islamic State has lost most of the land it seized

Iraq says Islamic State has lost most of the land it seized

The Iraqi military says the Islamic State group has lost more than three-fourths of the territory it seized when it swept across the country in the summer of 2014.

Two other family members were injured in the strike, which targeted Al-Sikak district in western Mosul on Monday, Lieutenant Yahya Hamid told Anadolu Agency. At that time, the jihadist group controlled more than 40 percent of Iraq.

They retook control of the eastern side of the city, which is divided by the Tigris River, in January and have since mid-February been battling the group holed up in their last west Mosul redoubts.

The column of fuel tankers was destroyed on Tuesday in al-Yarmouk and al-Soarah districts in western Mosul, Hashd al-Shaabi forces, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) announced, Iraq's al-Sumaria news website reported.

"Our troops are very cautious in their advance", Rasool told reporters in Baghdad. Iraqi forces with the backing of the US-led coalition-which has thousands of forces deployed in Iraq and carries out daily air strikes-launched a major offensive to retake Mosul in October 2016.

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Iraqi forces liberated the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in June and December respectively past year and the central city of Tikrit in March 2015. But the push against ISIS in Western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces fighting in a warren of small streets in the old part of the city.

Islamic State has used hundreds of vehicle bombs along with drones rigged with explosives in Mosul. The U.S. spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, Col. John I. Dorrian, attended the press conference. "They aren't going anywhere".

Victory against Isis has come at a staggering cost, with some towns and neighbourhoods reduced to rubble by air strikes and shelling.

Colonel Dorrian said the fight in Western Mosul had been tough but said Islamic State fighters had no escape.

"Do not lose sight of the fact that even though the fighting is going to be very hard, this enemy is completely surrounded", he said.

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