Iraqi government forces have moved closer to the southern outskirts of western Mosul, on the second day of a fresh offensive against so-called Islamic State. The outlying village of Abu Saif, which overlooks Mosul, has been hit by air strikes and helicopter gunships as the military advanced.
Iraqi forces have now entered Abu Saif. The eastern part of Mosul was liberated from IS fighters last month after heavy fighting. Abu Saif, which overlooks Mosul’s airport, is seen as a key IS stronghold on the southern approach to western Mosul.
The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, who is embedded with government troops, said Iraqi forces had faced stiffer resistance inside the village, coming under rocket fire in their first advance. The bodies of some IS fighters had been seen by the roadside to the village, apparently hit by mortar fire or other artillery