IS launches attack on western Iraqi province to divert attention from Mosul battle

Many have fled the area round Mosul as government and Kurdish forces close in
Many have fled the area round Mosul as government and Kurdish forces close in

Forces of so-called Islamic State have launched an attack in Iraq on a town in western Anbar province in an apparent attempt to divert attention from the government’s offensive on Mosul.

The mayor of Rutba described the Islamic State (IS) assault on his town from three directions as “fierce”.

Imad Meshaal spoke of clashes in the centre between IS and security forces.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have meanwhile carried out fresh attacks to the north-east of Mosul which is occupied by IS.

In a joint offensive to retake Iraq’s second city launched a week ago, the Peshmerga are closing in on Mosul from the north and east while government forces approach from the south.

Kurdish forces say they carried out new attacks on Sunday morning on IS positions near the town of Bashiqa.

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