Iraqi forces enter district at eastern edge of Mosul

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Iraqi security forces on Monday entered a district at the edge of the city of Mosul for the first time after two weeks of a massive offensive to dislodge Islamic State (IS, banned in Tajikistan) militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq, Xinhua reported citing a senior military officials.

The counter-terrorism forces fought fierce clashes with the IS, and managed to enter Gogjali district on the left side of Mosul (eastern side of the city), � Lieutenant General Talib Shghati, the commander of Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) told reporters.

Earlier in the day, a military statement said the Iraqi army and counter-terrorism forces started the operation at 6:30 am, advancing in three routes toward the eastern side of the Tigris River, which bisects the city.

During the past two weeks, the Iraqi security forces had inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul, and were making progress on other routes around the city preparing for a major battle to storm the city and drive out the IS militants.

On Oct. 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan