Iraqi Forces Seize Ancient Site of Hatra from ISIS

ISIS stripped satellite dishes from the rooftops of houses after conquering Mosul in 2014 saying they were being used to'brainwash people

While elite fighters from the Counter-Terrorism Service as well as other federal forces have focused their efforts on Mosul itself, the Hashed al-Shaabi has been pressing an offensive southwest of the city.

A stone tablet with cuneiform writing is seen in the foreground as UNESCO's Iraq representative Louise Haxthausen documents the damage wreaked by the Islamic State group at the ancient site of Nimrud, Iraq in this Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 photo.

Late in January, Abadi declared the liberation of Mosul's eastern side, or the left bank of Tigris, after over 100 days of fighting IS militants.

After several hours of their advance, the paramilitary units cleared three villages near Hadhar from IS militants and defused many roadside bombs, a statement said. "Daesh is fighting house to house", he said.

Thousands of civilians have reportedly fled the region in search for safety in refugee camps as fights over the farmland continue.

Iraqi forces have retaken neighbourhoods to the south, west and north of the Old City, tightening the noose around IS before a high-risk final assault. The Old City's narrow alleys and densely populated areas have made it hard for troops to move forward. 'So to avoid civilian losses we are using siege, but that does not mean we will not enter the Old City'.

They executed some of the civilians who gave them a hero's welcome, the Joint Operations Command coordinating the war on IS and a local official said.

Air strikes killed an Islamic State leader on Thursday and destroyed one of the jihadist group's bases in the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul, local media reported, citing a military intelligence statement. Obeidi stated that in areas under ISIS control over five families reside in one house, adding that the militants had now opened the houses for easy access between them and are wandering freely.

The offensive to retake Mosul began October 17, led by Iraqi security forces and aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, a Shiite-led militia, and the USA -led worldwide coalition.

On April 20, the Iraqi forces have liberated Al-Thawra district of western Mosul from Daesh, Iraqi Army's Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yaarallah said.

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