Islamic State The battle for Iraq's largest city, Mosul

Key dates in the Iraqi offensive to recapture Mosul, the country's second biggest city, from the Islamic State group (IS) jihadists who seized it in June 2014.

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Iraqi forces launched an offensive to recapture Mosul in October 2016 play

Iraqi forces launched an offensive to recapture Mosul in October 2016

(AFP)
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Key dates in the Iraqi offensive to recapture Mosul, the country's second biggest city, from the Islamic State group (IS) jihadists who seized it in June 2014.

The battle begins

- October 17, 2016: Iraqi forces launch the assault. It was in Mosul in July 2014 that IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance, to urge Muslims worldwide to move to the recently proclaimed "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria.

Tens of thousands of army, police and counter-terrorism troops are thrown into the long-awaited offensive with air and ground support from a US-led coalition. Kurdish forces also take part in operations north and east of the city.

Entering Mosul

- November 1: The army says it has entered Mosul city for the first time since 2014.

- November 3: Baghdadi breaks a year-long silence, urging followers to fight to the death for Mosul in an audio recording. The Iraqi advance begins to slow.

- November 13: Iraq says it has recaptured Nimrud, an ancient city southeast of Mosul.

- November 23: Shiite-dominated paramilitary units known as the Hashed al-Shaabi say they have cut IS supply lines between Mosul and the jihadists' Syrian stronghold Raqa, 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the west.

East Mosul is freed

- December 29: Government troops end a two-week pause and launch the second phase of their assault on east Mosul.

- January 8: Iraqi units reach the Tigris River that divides Mosul and take up positions near one of the city's five bridges, all now destroyed.

- January 24: The Joint Operations Command coordinating the fight says the east has been "fully liberated".

Battle for west begins

- February 19: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announces the start of the battle for western Mosul, with Iraqi forces backed by coalition air power and close-in support from coalition advisers.

- February 24: Iraqi forces seize full control of Mosul airport and enter their first west Mosul neighbourhood. Three days later they take control of a fourth bridge over the Tigris.

- March 12: A US envoy says Iraqi troops have cut all roads into western Mosul, trapping remaining IS fighters inside.

- March 14: Iraqi forces say they have captured the city's train station after reaching other symbolic sites such as the regional government headquarters and the city's museum.

Old City

May 4: Iraqi forces launch a second front in northwestern Mosul to further seal the siege on the Old City, where IS has concentrated most of its resources.

May 16: A military spokesman says it has recaptured almost 90 percent of west Mosul.

June 18: Iraqi forces launch an assault to retake the Old City, where the United Nations says jihadists may be holding more than 100,000 civilians as human shields.

Since mid-October, more than 860,000 people are estimated to have fled Mosul.

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