Iraq began removing cement walls from areas surrounding the capital’s most fortified enclave Monday, opening parts of the so-called Green Zone to traffic in a symbolic move coinciding with nationwide celebrations marking the anniversary of the country’s costly victory over the Islamic State group.
Buses carrying hundreds of Islamic State militants and their families arrived in eastern Syria on Tuesday following a negotiated evacuation from the Lebanon-Syria border, where the U.S.-backed Lebanese army deployed for the first time in years.
Iraqi forces committed human rights violations during the battle to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group, the country's prime minister acknowledged, but insisted that these were "individual acts" for which the perpetrators would be punished.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi celebrated with Iraqi troops Sunday in Mosul after they drove Islamic State militants from some of their last strongholds in a nearly nine-month campaign, although heavy fighting by holdouts continued in parts of the Old City neighborhood.
U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in Mosul on Sunday, launching a major battle for the Old City where some 150,000 civilians are believed to be trapped and risk being used as human shields by the extremists.
U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in Mosul on Sunday, an Iraqi commander said, formally launching the final major battle of an eight-month campaign to drive the militants from Iraq's second largest city.
Islamic State group militants have blocked the area around a highly symbolic mosque in Mosul's Old City where the group's leader made his first and only public appearance in 2014, a resident said Thursday.