Iraqi forces are “ahead of schedule”, the Pentagon says, as they begin the second day of the battle to retake Mosul from so-called IS fighters.
But Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook warned it “could take some time” as it remained to be seen whether Islamic State (IS) would “stand and fight”. Fighting continued overnight, with IS militants attacking Iraqi army tanks. A BBC correspondent with government forces says the current front line is 20km (12 miles) south of the city.
IS seized Mosul, then Iraq’s second-largest city, in June 2014. The extremists’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi then chose Mosul as the place to announce the forming of a caliphate, so retaking the city would be “symbolic”, according to Mr Cook.(BBC,2016)