Thursday, February 23, 2017

US-Backed Iraqi Forces Enter Mosul Airport, Military Base |

US-Backed Iraqi Forces Enter Mosul Airport, Military Base | Backed by the U.S.-led international coalition, Iraqi forces fought their way Thursday into a sprawling military base outside of Mosul and onto the grounds of the city's airport, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with Islamic State militants.

The two-pronged advance is part of a major assault that started earlier this week to drive the Islamic State group from the western half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city

The Iraqi federal police units, backed by regular army forces, entered the airport on Thursday morning, according to two police officials who said heavy clashes were underway hours later with IS militants hunkered down inside several airport buildings.

The officials said troops from the U.S.-led coalition were with the advancing forces, though they didn't specify the nationalities of the foreign forces. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.