e fight for Mosul intensifying. Southeast of the Islamic State stronghold Iraqi troops have been firing on their targets in an effort to advance and retake the city. But the offensive has had a setback. Troops facing fresh and fierce resistance from Islamic State fighters as they moved in on one of Mosel's main hospitals.
Reuters' Dominic Evans is in Baghdad.>> Inside the hospital compound, they faced rocket-propelled grenades, machine gun fire. And in the streets just outside, the troops came under attack from six suicide car bombs. So under the torrent of that attack, they did have to pull back and withdrew again.
>> The attack marks an aggressive new tactic by the Iraqi troops, going beyond their frontlines, but becoming exposed and vulnerable to attack. And undoing some of the hard-fought gains they'd been making.>> In the bigger picture, clearly this is a setback to the Mosul campaign. Any retreat is not desirable, it's unwanted by the commanders.
But they also suffered quite heavy losses, one of the officers said 20 soldiers were killed. And similar number of armored personnel carriers and tanks were damaged or destroyed.>> The challenge for Iraqi troops increasing as the size of the battle shows no signs of subsiding.