IS launches 'chlorine gas attacks' in western Mosul

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Military officers state that this it is predicted as Iraqi forces attempt to reclaim Mosul in what is known as the last major urban hurdle towards defeating extremist Sunni militant groups in Iraq.

Issam al-Jibouri, a displaced resident who went by boat to western Mosul to take supplies to needy relatives, said: "We urge more efforts to reconstruct the bridges or bring larger boats".

This is the second time in two days that the terrorists have used chemical agents to push back government forces in Mosul.

The fighting has killed several thousands among civilians and fighters on both sides, according to aid organizations.

Humanitarian conditions in the Iraqi city of Mosul have been deteriorating amid fierce battles between the Iraqi forces and Daesh.

Iraqi forces are in their sixth month of a push to retake Mosul from Islamic State.

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Iraqi government forces, backed by USA advisers, artillery and air support, have cleared the east of Mosul and half of the west and are now focused on the Old City.

The advance has hardly moved for more than a month, though, as the militants are holding out in the densely populated Old City in western Mosul, where tanks and heavy vehicles are not able to operate because of its narrow streets.

"Mosul has pushed us to our operational limits as 1.9 million people have received life-saving assistance since the fighting began", Grande said. He said the area will be cleared from militants soon.

Losing these areas would still not eliminate the threat of bombings and hit-and-run attacks by the jihadists. It also said the militants were increasingly using suicide motorbikes attacks.

Many came to Iraq in the 1980s in search of a better life as their own country exploded into a civil war that triggered a legacy of violence, poverty and political struggle that continues today.

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