World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. military deployed to the east of Iraq’s Mosul has started shelling ISIL targets as part of an operation to retake the city, a Peshmerga commander said Saturday.
Peshmerga Commander Omer Huseyin told Anadolu Agency from Camp Bashiqa in northern Iraq that American howitzers, deployed some 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) away from Mosul city center, were hitting ISIL targets.
Huseyin said the U.S.-led coalition warplanes also hit areas where ISIL extremists were positioned.
"The ISIL extremists started burning tires to block the view of the warplanes after international coalition forces struck the area," he added.
"ISIL extremists also started burning the petroleum filled in their ditches, which they have dug around the city."
In mid-2014, the ISIL extremist group captured the northern city of Mosul and overran vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq. The extremist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
The Iraqi army and its allies are now gradually advancing on Mosul, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to "liberate" by year’s end.
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