09:20, 25 September 2020
watch on Dushanbe time, GMT+5
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Iraqi government launches offensive on west Mosul

Iraq's prime minister has announced the launch of a military assault aimed

at taking western Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The Iraqi forces seized 17 villages from ISIL, also known as ISIS, on Sunday, according to top army commander Abdulamir Yarallah, advancing from several directions towards Mosul airport, which lies just south of the city. "We announce the start of a new phase in the operation. We are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul," Haider al-Abadi said on television. A top army commander later announced that forces led by federal police units retook villages south of Mosul, including Athbah, which leaves them within striking distance of the airport.