ISIS and Iraqi army locked in fierce battles around Mosul

Intensive ISIS counterattacks have been meeting the Iraqi army and its allies’ push towards the populated outskirts of Mosul. An ISIL suicide car bomber targeted Iraqi troops in the city's eastern fringes early on Saturday, setting off heavy fighting that involved mortar rounds, gunfire, and rocket-propelled grenades.

Iraqi officers told the AFP news agency fighting was also underway in the adjoining Arbajiya area. DEBKAfile adds that the Iraqi army’s advance is more or less drawn to a standstill in the last 48 hours before entering the city of Mosul proper.

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