Iraqi forces punch into western Mosul, launch air strikes in Syria

Iraqi forces punch into western Mosul, launch air strikes in SyriaBy Stephen Kalin and Isabel Coles SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – U.S.-backed Iraqi forces pushed into western Mosul on Friday after retaking the city’s airport from Islamic State, as aid agencies warned the most dangerous phase of the offensive was about to begin for hundreds of thousands of civilians. Troops disarmed booby traps planted by retreating militant fighters in the airport, which the army plans to use as a base from which to drive Islamic State from Mosul’s western districts and deal a decisive blow to the group. As they did, Iraqi fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic State positions inside Syria on Friday.



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