The Iraqi government’s best troops made rapid progress as they pushed much closer to the eastern edge of Mosul.
Much sooner than anyone expected, two villages on the road into the city fell to the government advance and Iraqi flags were raised.
The Iraqi general in command said: “Our troops are now very close to Mosul. After liberating Bazwaia ... we are only a few hundred metres away.”
- Report by ITV News Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent
Iraqi elite troops appear to be edging into Mosul, following two weeks of fighting against so-called Islamic State fighters in the surrounding area.
Reuters reported an Iraqi officer as saying troops had entered the al-Karama district east of the city.
"They have entered Mosul," General Wissam Araji of the US-trained Counter Terrorism Service said.
It came shortly after a military commander said were just a few hundred metres from Mosul and could enter the city "within hours".
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