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Major ISIS Counterattack in Mosul Pushes Back Iraqi Forces

The battle to retake Mosul has already forced 87,000 people from their homes, according to the U.N

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    Major ISIS Counterattack in Mosul Pushes Back Iraqi Forces
    AP
    Iraqi Special Forces soldiers walk to the frontline as Iraqi forces continue their advance against Islamic State militants in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

    A major Islamic State group counterattack Friday along the northern edge of Mosul's Old City neighborhood has pushed Iraqi Army forces back some 75 meters (82 yards) and is threatening recent gains in other Old City fronts, an Iraqi military officer said.

    The officer said the attack was launched just after noon Friday and estimated it was carried out by 50 to 100 IS fighters. A doctor at a medic station said he received more than a dozen wounded Iraqi soldiers.

    Both men spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

    Iraqi security forces have retaken almost all of Mosul — Iraq's second largest city — from ISIS militants who overran it in 2014.

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    [NATL] Aid Worker Rescues Mosul Child From ISIS Gunfire in Dramatic Footage

    Warning: Video may disturb some viewers.

    In dramatic footage provided by volunteer aid group Free Burma Rangers, Dave Eubank is seen rescuing a young child from ISIS gunfire in Mosul, Iraq. The rescue followed a surge by ISIS on June 2, 2017. (Video courtesy Free Burma Rangers)

    (Published Thursday, June 22, 2017)

    In late June, ISIS counterattacks on the western edge of Mosul — neighborhoods retaken months earlier — stalled the push by Iraqi forces to go deeper into the Old City as they forced a reallocation of Iraqi ground forces, coalition surveillance and air support.

    Unlike the Friday attack, the late June counterattack was launched from outside Mosul, most likely from Tal Afar, an ISIS-held town some 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Mosul.

    The counterattacks underscore the extremist group's resilience in Iraq, despite significant territorial losses and months of heavy fighting with Iraqi forces backed by U.S. air power.

    The pockets of ISIS-held Mosul now measure less than a square kilometer.

    Also on Friday, The U.N.'s migration agency suspended operations in two camps — the Qayara air strip emergency site and the Haj Ali camp — near Mosul hosting nearly 80,000 displaced Iraqis due to sporadic violence and exchange of gunfire.

    IOM spokesman Joel Millman said the security situation prevented six water-tanker trucks from entering the Haj Ali camp, where temperatures reached the low 50s Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in recent days.

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    The Department of Defense released a video of its GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon it has ever used in combat, strike a target in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on Thursday, April 13, 2017. ISIS forces were believed to be in tunnels and caves, and the massive bomb, nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," killed 36 fighters, according to Afghani officials.

    (Published Friday, April 14, 2017)

    Humanitarian groups have repeatedly suspended operations in and around Mosul due to security concerns since the fight to retake the city from ISIS began last October.

    In April, the United Nations suspended operations in the same area due to security threats along the road south of Mosul's western half.

    In February the U.N. suspended operations in eastern Mosul weeks after the area was declared fully liberated as ISIS attacks continued to inflict heavy civilian casualties.

    In both instances the U.N. resumed operations within a matter of days.

    Associated Press writers Jamey Keaten in Geneva and Salar Salim in Mosul, Iraq contributed to this report.