News

US and French bomb Isis terror targets to take Mosul

The battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from Isis has begun, Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said.

Mosul, which is regarded as Isis' "second city", is the last major stronghold of the jihadist group in Iraq.

It has been under the group's control since June 2014, but the Iraqi offensive to retake the city has been planned for months.

In an address on state television, Mr Abadi said: "The time of victory has come and operations to liberate Mosul have started."

"Today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh," he said, using another term for the jihadist group.

US and French forces had already begun bombing Isis targets in Mosul ahead of the offensive.

Isis fighters are said to be dug in and preparing to battle hard to maintain control, Reuters reported.

Ahead of the battle, the Iraqi army dropped tens of thousands of leaflets over Mosul urging residents to hide before the offensive begins.

The leaflets carried several messages to the citizens of the city in northern Iraq attempting to reassure them that the advancing army "would not target civilians" but warned them to avoid the known locations of Isis militants.

"Keep calm and tell your children that it is only a game or thunder before the rain," a leaflet said. "Women should not scream or shout, to preserve the children's spirit."

"If you see an army unit, stay at least 25 metres away and avoid any sudden movements," another said.

They have previously forced civilians to remain where they are rather than flee during previous battles to maintain territory.

It comes just hours after they lost control of the symbolically important town of Dabiq in Syria to a group of rebels after a short battle.

The opposition fighters were able to retake the town with "minimal" resistance despite Isis prophecies that Dabiq was to be the scene of an apocalyptic final battle between Muslims and Christians.

Isis has lost a third of its territory in Iraq and Syria in the past year as counter insurgent forces and air strikes push the group back.

Last week, the UN warned that it was bracing itself for the world's biggest and most complex humanitarian effort following the battle which it expects to displace up to one million people and see civilians used as human shields or even gassed.

Camps have been prepared on the outskirts of Isis territory to cope with the movement of people.

The Iraqi government launched a radio station to help Mosul residents stay safe during the offensive last month broadcasting from Qayyara, a town around 40 miles south of the city.

On Sunday, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that Shia militants would not enter the heavily Sunni city.

Previously local Sunni politicians and regional Sunni-majority states including Turkey and Saudi Arabia had warned that Shia soldiers taking part could lead to sectarian fighting.

Topics:  editors picks iraq isis islamic state


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lockyer Valley Speedway roars into gear

WINNER: Hatton Vale's Steve Isdale took out the legends race at the Lockyer Valley Speedway on Saturday, February 11.

First Lockyer Valley Speedway was off and racing.

Parts of Gatton area can now connect to NBN

GET CONNECTED: Is your home or business ready to connect to NBN?

NBN rollout reaches Gatton area.

Appeal for dashcam footage from Gatton assault

APPEAL: Police are calling for dashcam footage from a serious assault of a woman in Gatton on Tuesday, January 31 at about 4am.

Can you help police with investigations into this serious assault?

Local Partners

McDonald wins tough decision for LNP pre-selection

Following one of the toughest pre-selection votes in decades, Jim McDonald will fly the LNP flag for the seat of Lockyer at the next state election.

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

How Stay at Home Mum blogger Jody Allen struck it big

Jody Allen and Walt Collins will co-host the Seven Network's Stay at Home Mum television series from April.

Jody Allen's star continues to rise at incredible speed

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

AUSSIE hip hop outfit Bliss N Eso have announced they will play a tribute show for the stuntman killed during the filming of their music video.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!