No Aussies affected in Mosul attack: PM

No Aussies affected in Mosul attack: PM”

In February, Iraqi ground forces - backed by a USA -led air coalition - began fresh operations aimed at driving Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group's last stronghold in northern Iraq. It also said the militants were increasingly using suicide motorbikes attacks.

Government forces are trying to capture the Grand Al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City, from where Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared a "caliphate" spanning parts of Iraq and Syria almost three years ago. It's now fighting to defend a cluster of western neighborhoods in Mosul, the second-largest city.

According to the Iraqi central command, a number of Islamic State's militants have taken advantage of the displacement movement from the ISIS-held areas in Mosul towards recently liberated areas.

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At least 16 people were killed in a Tuesday car-bomb attack carried out by the Daesh terrorist group in western Mosul, according to an Iraqi military source.

"If there is a siege and hundreds of thousands of people don't have water and don't have food, they will be at enormous risk", United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande told Reuters in a telephone interview. "Mosul has pushed us to our operational limits", Grande said.

While Iraqi forces have retaken most of Mosul back, ISIS fighters still have firm control over the northwestern qurater of the city. What little food remains is too expensive for most residents to afford, or kept for Islamic State members and their supporters.

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