Iraq Forces Launch New Push on IS in West Mosul

11 journalists killed in Iraq in past year: watchdog

US President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi are discussing keeping American troops in the country even after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, according to officials from Washington and Baghdad.

"The remaining Daesh [ISIS] terrorists in Mosul are now under heavy siege by the Iraqi forces in the northwestern corner of the city", an army official who did not want to be named said.

"But they are in the densest urban terrain of Mosul, and they're going to be very hard ...to attack", said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the US -led coalition.

The news comes as Iraqi forces are struggling to push IS fighters out of a cluster of neighborhoods in western Mosul that mark the last patch of significant urban terrain the group holds in Iraq, almost three years after the militants overran almost a third of the country. So as for agreement, yes, we both understand it would be mutually beneficial.

Just a few years ago, USA officials said the military mission was winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has close to 7,000 United States troops in Iraq, many not publicly acknowledged because they are on temporary duty or under specific personnel rules. In March 2016, the month before the task force arrived in Iraq, the authority was granted not only to the general in charge of the operation, but also for colonels, lieutenant colonels, and in at least one case, a captain near the front of the fighting, he explained.

A wounded man was evacuated by Iraqi forces along the Tigris near Mosul on Thursday.

Iraqi forces are struggling to retake the last remaining Mosul areas that IS holds in the city's western half.

The US combat mission in Iraq ended in 2010, when former president Barack Obama ordered nearly all US troops to withdraw from the Arab state. "We are still advancing to liberate the other neighborhoods", the officer said.

The move does not mean that the numbers of troops in Iraq and Syria will change, "nor does it change the process by which we will manage those forces", said Davis.

Abadi moderated his comments saying that the only us troops who should remain would provide training assistance to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to maintain "full readiness" in case of "future security challenges". Iraq and Iran also share a religion, a long border and in some cases, national interests in the region.

Iraqi forces are struggling to retake the last remaining Mosul neighborhoods IS holds in the city's western half, but even after a territorial victory, Iraqi and US -led coalition officials have warned of the potential for IS to carry our insurgent attacks in government held territory.

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