ISIS’ last stand in Iraq
ISIS fighters are making their last stand in Mosul, trying to hold back Iraqi forces moving into the western half of the city.
Gunshots and explosions erupted in the western half of the city on Thursday, according to multiple reports, as militants fought back against the U.S.-backed offensive. When the campaign for Mosul began in January, there were 750,000 civilians still living there, according to the United Nations. Since then, they’ve fled in droves to nearby aid camps.
The offensive to retake the city began in late 2016, and in January, Iraqi forces backed by U.S. advisers managed to secure the eastern side of the city. Troops started moving into the western side in February.
ISIS has controlled the city for years. In 2014, its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a public speech from Mosul’s Nuri mosque, but today it’s the terrorist group’s last stronghold in Iraq.