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Iraq: Western Mosul offensive launched against IS

The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of an offensive on the western side of Mosul against the so-called Islamic State.

Earlier, Iraqi planes dropped millions of leaflets on western Mosul warning residents that the offensive was imminent. The ongoing conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee to refugee camps.

Iraqi forces retook control of east Mosul from IS in January. The defeat of the group in Mosul would effectively end the Iraqi half of the "caliphate".

Haider al-Abadi said: "We announce the start of a new chapter of Mosul operations to liberate the right side of Nineveh (Mosul) as we did with the other parts."

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