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Iraqi forces advance from north ahead of ‘extremely violent’ fight

As the Iraqi joint forces launched an operation to capture the last Islamic State-held enclave in Mosul, the fight is getting harder and putting civilians at risk.
Members of the Iraqi rapid response forces and the Iraqi Federal Police move between their vehicles during clashes with Islamic State fighters in western Mosul, Iraq May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis - RTX37V1V

MOSUL, Iraq — Iraqi joint forces launched an operation to liberate the last Islamic State (IS) pockets of resistance in the Old City of Mosul on May 27. After roughly two months of scant movement on the southern front lines of west Mosul, a push from the northwestern axis in early May had steadily gained ground against the remaining IS-held areas, paving the way for the latest moves.

Loudspeakers and flyers dropped over the city have at various points called on civilians to use corridors created by the Iraqi forces, which Iraqi security analyst Hisham al-Hashimi told Al-Monitor marks a turnaround from the coalition strategy when operations began in October to retake the largest city held by IS in Iraq.

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