The fourth day of ground operations around the northern city of Mosul in Iraq got underway today. Led by Iraqi special forces, army units opened a third front to liberate the city from ISIS control.
Iraqi troops, supported by Kurdish army elements, US air assets, and other mixed militia, have so far made large gains in terms of terrain recaptured, but report heavy resistance from ISIS fighters.
The city of Mosul, considered by ISIS to be the capital of their so-called caliphate, has remained under ISIS control for over two years. According to troops on the ground, the city is heavily booby-trapped, and fighters are putting up a stiff resistance.
US attack helicopters strafed ISIS positions to support Iraqi army units on the ground yesterday, it was reported, and nine suicide trucks loaded with explosives were destroyed before reaching their objectives.
An US serviceman was killed on Thursday, the first casualty of the Mosul offensive.
Meanwhile, an estimated 200 ISIS fighters have so far been killed. It is thought that the ISIS garrison within Mosul includes around 5,000 fighters. Facing them, there is a coalition of over 108,000 troops.