ORLANDO, Fla. -- From wire reports, here is the latest on the push by Iraqi forces to liberate cities from Islamic State control: Iraqi forces continued to battle Islamic State militants on this Saturday for control of the Mosul university complex, an area of psychological significance in the operation to liberate Iraq's second city from the extremists.
Earlier on Saturday, bulldozers smashed through a wall surrounding the sprawling campus and dozens of counter-terrorism service troops sprinted through, as they were carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
While they still came under heavy small arms fire, Iraqi soldiers at the university said counter resistance was significantly less than what they had faced during the first weeks of the Mosul operation.
The iniitiative to retake the university as well as Mosul itself, raq's second largest city, from IS control began Oct. 17.
Advances had slowed in late November and December as troops became bogged down in tough urban warfare after entering the city itself, and Islamic State fought from densely-populated residential areas, Reuters reported adding, an air raid targeting a senior Islamic State militant on Thursday killed up to 30 people in a western Mosul district, residents said. It was not immediately clear if the strike was carried out by Iraqi forces or the US-led coalition, Reuters stated.
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