Friday, 24 March, 2017

Iraqi forces 'close' to main government complex in Mosul

Civilians fleeing Mosul 15000 children flee Iraq's Mosul: UN
Lance Thomas | 06 March, 2017, 00:08

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that five children and two women were receiving treatment for exposure to chemical agents.

Federal police officer Sabhan al-Shuweili, for his part, said Iraqi forces were attempting to advance into the Nabi Sheth and al-Dandan districts in Mosul's western side.

Mosul, 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014.

Iraqi forces battled the Islamic State group in hours of heavy clashes in west Mosul on Sunday, as the number of people who fled fighting in the area topped 45,000.

Since war broke out in Syria in March 2011, more than half of its pre-war population has been forced to flee their homes.

"It's a desperate situation for these people; they are being moved across the country to different areas to be housed".

In Iraq, the offensive by US-backed Iraqi forces to retake west Mosul from ISIS has displaced more than 45 000 people in little more than a week, the United Nations migration agency said.

China defence spending to rise 'around 7pc'
This means defense spending would account for some 1.3 percent of GDP, the same level as the past few years, Fu said . But Fu dismissed such concerns.

Late in January, Abadi declared the liberation of the eastern side of Mosul, or the left bank of Tigris, after more than 100 days of fighting against IS militants.

Taking the sites of the provincial council and governorate buildings would help Iraqi forces attack the militants in the nearby old city and would be of symbolic significance in terms of restoring state authority over Mosul. The operation to retake Mosul officially began in October after more than two years of slowly clawing back territory from IS militants.

Earlier this week, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered his jihadis to "flee and hide" in an apparent admission of defeat in Mosul.

"The use of chemical weapons is absolutely prohibited under worldwide humanitarian law".

ISIS fighters have been using sniper fire, mortars, suicide bombs and booby traps to counter the offensive. The patients were exposed to the chemical agents in eastern Mosul.

The use of chlorine as a weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.

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