Spokesman: Iraqi forces launch new push in Mosul's west

The group's head, Ziad al-Ajili, urged the Iraqi security forces to do their utmost to protect media workers and also called on journalists to follow security procedures.

He added that the source could not confirm whether the Iraqi air force or the US-led coaltion was responsible for the raid. The U.S. had issued the bridging equipment, so soldiers went forward with the Iraqis to help with quality control. The US official said discussions were in early stages and "nothing has been finalised". In the battle to reclaim Mosul, the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF), the country's best troops, have taken heavy casualties in facing the brunt of the ISIS defense.

A wounded man was evacuated by Iraqi forces along the Tigris near Mosul on Thursday.

Army Col. Brett Sylvia, the brigade's commander, told reporters that the other 75 percent of his Task Force Strike soldiers were engaged in route clearance, expedited communications, air and ground coordination, and logistics, which enabled Iraq to build up its forces up and get to their tactical assembly area for the push into eastern Mosul, which began October 17 as part of the effort to liberate Iraq's second-largest city from the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. There are certainly some challenges. Iraqi army commanders said there are 11 neighborhoods in west Mosul left to capture.

Local officials and eyewitnesses have said as many as 240 people may have died in March in the Al-Jadida district of western Mosul when a blast resulted in a building collapsing.

Al Jazeera also tried to get confirmation on the air raid from the U.S. department of defence, but they have not yet commented on the incident.

Pakistan denies allegations that it mutilated the bodies of 2 Indian soldiers
BSF soldiers carry the coffin of martyred BSF head constable Prem Sagar in New Delhi on May 2, 2017. BAT is made up of Pakistan Army personnel and the terrorists it trains.

He went on to say that he does not "see any reason to pull out again and face the same lesson", adding that the U.S. "needs to remain decisively engaged in Iraq and in the region".

The attack will help the elite Counter Terrorism Service and Interior Ministry Federal Police troops who are painstakingly advancing from the south. The city fell to ISIS in June 2014.

Observers warn that jihadists could increasingly resort to using guerrilla tactics and bomb civilian targets, as anti-IS forces are also pressing a major offensive on their last major bastion of the terrorist group in Syria, the city of Raqqa.

The northern city is where Iraq-born IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - who has urged his men to defend Mosul to the death - made his only public appearance in July that year.

However, even defeat in Mosul would not be the end of the hardline Sunni group, which still controls parts of Syria and large amounts of Iraqi territory near the Syrian border.

  • Sonia Alvarado