US trumpets Mosul gains, but Iraq says more aid needed

Pro-government Iraqi forces south of Hawijah on 10 October 2016 prepare to retake Mosul

On October 17, Iraqi security forces started an operation to liberate the city of Mosul, which has been under the control of Daesh since June 2014. The senior USA official said Monday, May 15, 2017 that the fight to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group is approaching its "final stages".

Iraqi government forces have reportedly managed to wrest complete control over a strategic neighborhood in the western part of Mosul as they are engaged in joint operations with volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units to purge Daesh terrorists from the country's second largest city.

Outnumbered, militants have retaliated with suicide vehicle bombs and snipers embedded among the hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in west Mosul. Many local people have been killed under heavy bombardment and vital supplies are scarce, with some civilians being forced to eat weeds in order to survive.

Located approximately 60 kilometres west of Mosul along the highway to Erbil, first buses with newly displaced Iraqi families arrived at Hasansham U2 on Tuesday.

The helicopter was hit while supporting Iraq's mostly Shiite militia forces in an operation to retake villages still held by the militants in the sprawling desert to Mosul's west, Brig.

In recent weeks, US-backed Iraqi troops have slowly closed in on a small cluster of neighbourhoods in the city's west.

"The more they are besieged the harder they fight". Despite enormous risks, the number of people fleeing West Mosul shows no sign of slowing down.

Flies swarmed over the charred remains of an Islamic State militant lying near a motorbike.

An Iraqi special forces soldier photographs the body of a suspected Islamic State militant sniper, in western Mosul, Iraq, Monday, May 15, 2017.

"This includes more than 434,000 displaced from western Mosul since mid-February", Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), told reporters at the UN's Geneva headquarters.

"Our intelligence conclusions based on insider sources and drone surveillance indicate undisputedly that Daesh fighters are less organized now and lack the resources to keep fighting", he said.

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