Iraqi forces capture eastern side of bridge above Tigris River in Mosul

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 9, 2017 at 7:16 AM

MOSUL, Iraq, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service said forces advancing from eastern Mosul in the battle against the Islamic State have reached the Tigris River, which splits the city from east to west.

ICTS on Sunday said forces control the eastern side of Mosul's Fourth Bridge, which is near the middle of the city and near the Mosul Airport. Iraqi military officials said forces control more than 70 percent of Mosul's eastern section.

More than 100,000 Mosul residents have fled since the Iraqi offensive to recapture the city began on Oct. 17.

The second phase of the battle to retake Mosul -- which is led by Iraqi security forces and aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, a Shiite-led militia, and the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State -- began Dec. 29 after the offensive was suspended for weeks.

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