Iraqis Reach 2nd Mosul Bridge

Iraqis Reach 2nd Mosul Bridge
Iraqis Reach 2nd Mosul Bridge

Iraqi Special Forces pushed forward to reach a second bridge that links eastern Mosul to the city’s west, which is still fully controlled by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, a military statement said on Friday. Troops further north, meanwhile, entered the Mosul University complex in the northeast, Reuters reported.

Its capture would help parallel advances toward bridges over the Tigris. Elite Counter Terrorism Service units reached the southern 2nd Bridge, also called Freedom Bridge, one of five running across the river that bisects Mosul from north to south, the military statement reported by state TV said.

Iraqi forces, which are fighting in eastern Mosul, have now reached two of the bridges and battled their way to the southernmost 4th Bridge several days ago.

All the bridges have been hit by US coalition airstrikes in an effort to hamper IS militants’ movement across the city. The US and Iraqi military officials say IS has caused further damage to at least two of them to try to hamper any Iraqi advance across the river. Iraqi forces are now in control of most of eastern Mosul. Assaults on the west will be able to begin once they have secured the east bank of the Tigris.

In Mosul’s northeast, CTS forces fought their way into the Mosul University area and were near the technical college on the eastern side of the campus.

An Iraqi officer said army units backed by airstrikes had also taken control of Hadba district, north of the university, and would aid the assault on the complex.

The recapture of the university would be an important gain because it would enable further advances, as it overlooks areas closer to the river, a commander said this week.

The terrorist group seized nuclear materials used for scientific research from the university when they overran it in 2014, the United Nations says.

Caption: Members of the Iraqi rapid response forces fire missile toward IS militants during a battle in Somer District of eastern Mosul, Iraq.


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