Iraqi forces block IS counter-attack in western Mosul
MOSUL: US-backed Iraqi forces advancing in the Islamic State group's stronghold in western Mosul fought off a counter-attack by the militants during bad weather in the early hours today, officers said. Some militants were able to get near elite Iraqi units in the southwestern part of the city, hidden among people displaced by the fighting, a senior officer told Reuters. Iraqi forces captured the eastern side of Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting and launched their attack on the districts that lie west of the Tigris river on Feb 19. Defeating Islamic State in Mosul would crush the Iraqi wing of the caliphate declared by the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 2014.