Wave of Daesh car bombs targets Iraqi troops in west Mosul

An Iraqi family walks from a Daesh-controlled neighborhood toward Iraqi Special Forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, on March 4, 2017. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Updated 05 March 2017
0

Wave of Daesh car bombs targets Iraqi troops in west Mosul

BAGHDAD: Iraqi troops encountered the “heaviest” clashes yet with Daesh group fighters Sunday in western Mosul since the start of the new push more than two weeks ago, according to a senior commander.
Maj. Gen. Haider Al-Maturi of the Federal Police Commandos Division told The Associated Press that Daesh militants dispatched at least six suicide car bombs, which were all destroyed before reaching the troops. The militants, he said, are moving from house to house and deploying snipers.
The wave of heavy resistance comes as Iraqi forces launched attacks against Daesh-held neighborhoods in western Mosul from three points Sunday morning. The Federal Police are closing in on the city’s main government complex in the Dawasa neighborhood and Iraq’s special forces are attempting to push into the Shuhada and Mansour neighborhoods.
Daesh fighters have “some mortar (teams) and snipers positioned inside homes,” said Iraqi special forces Maj. Ali Talib, explaining that US-led coalition airstrikes have helped destroy some of the Daesh defenses, but clashes are still ongoing.
Al-Maturi, of the federal police, said his troops are now some 500 meters away from the government complex.
The push on Mosul’s west was launched about two weeks ago after the eastern half of the city was declared “fully liberated” in January. The operation to retake Mosul officially began in October after more than two years of slowly clawing back territory from Daesh militants. Daesh overran nearly a third of Iraq — including Mosul the country’s second largest city — in the summer of 2014.


Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

Updated 53 min 15 sec ago
0

Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

  • The $1.2 billion budget for UNRWA provides education, health care, food and other services to Palestinian refugees
  • The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year

UNITED NATIONS: Donors have pledged over $110 million to help some 5 million Palestinian refugees, an amount the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees called encouraging.
But Pierre Kraehenbuehl in an announcement Tuesday after a donor’s conference at UN headquarters said, however: “The situation does remain precarious.”
The $1.2 billion budget for the UN Relief and Works Agency provides education, health care, food and other services to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year.
Kraehenbuehl said the agency covered its expenses through May 30 but is now operating in deficit.
He expressed hope the $110 million will bridge UNRWA’s funding in coming months but said another pledging conference will be needed.