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lamic State militants on the attack in Mosul. This footage, said to be shot Wednesday, purports to show them in battle in the east of the Iraqi city. Government forces now pushing into those eastern districts as part of the second phase of their campaign against the jihadists.
Reuters' Stephen Kalin has been tracking the advance in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.>> From the north, the army encroached upon the northern outskirts of Mosul. From the east, counterterrorism forces that have taken about a quarter of the city over the past two months, have advanced even further, deeper towards the city center.
And from the south, federal police and rapid response forces, for the first time, joined the fight inside the city. And have made some progress inside some of those southeastern districts. Now, the goal of all this is for the forces to meet in the city center and to retake the eastern half of Mosul as soon as possible.
The Western half of the city is still securely under the control of Islamic State. But coalition airstrikes took out the fifth and final bridge crossing the Tigris river earlier this week. Thereby dividing the city and isolating the eastern and western halves, so that Islamic State can no longer re-supply its fighters and move those fighters across the river.
>> Iraq's Prime Minister had pledged to retake Mosul by the end of the year. This week he said it would take another three months to route Islamic State in Iraq.