US Strike Destroys Bridge, Restricts IS in Mosul

US Strike Destroys Bridge, Restricts IS in MosulUS Strike Destroys Bridge, Restricts IS in Mosul

US forces backing Iraqi troops retaking Mosul from the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group carried out an airstrike on a bridge spanning the Tigris River, restricting militant movements between western and eastern parts of the city, a US official said on Tuesday.

US-trained Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service forces are pushing deeper into east of Mosul, the last major city under the control of the Sunni hard-line group in Iraq, while army and police units, Shia militias and Kurdish fighters surround it to the west, south and north, Reuters reported.

Militants have steadily retreated from areas around Mosul into the city. But the army's early advances have slowed as militants dig in, using the more than 1 million civilians inside the city as a shield, moving through tunnels and hitting advancing troops with suicide bombers, snipers and mortar fire.

Five bridges span the Tigris that runs through Mosul. They have all been mined and boobytrapped by militants who took over the city two years ago, as they swept through northern Iraq and declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Despite planting mines on them, the militants have so far been able to continue using bridges that have not yet been destroyed in airstrikes.

Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the US-led coalition, on Tuesday said an airstrike has taken out the number four bridge, the southernmost, in the past 48 hours.

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