Iraqi forces seize key bridge in Mosul

The Iraqi military says it has retaken a bridge across the River Tigris in Mosul, after driving back Islamic State militants in the city’s south-west.

The Federal Police Rapid Response Force advanced into the Jawsaq district on Monday and reached the Fourth Bridge.

Mosul’s five bridges have been badly damaged in fighting since October.

Once repaired, the Fourth Bridge could help the military bring in reinforcements and supplies from the government-held east of the city.

Meanwhile, UN aid workers say they are extremely concerned by the humanitarian situation in remaining IS-held areas of western Mosul, where about 750,000 people are believed to be living.

The World Food Programme spoke to a number of families there who reported that food prices were rising drastically or that they were unable to get food at all.

Media caption Iraqi forces are pushing into the IS stronghold of western Mosul

“The situation is unbelievable,” a 46-year-old man was quoted as saying. “There is no food, no clean water, no gas for heating, no medicine and no services.”

Food in western Mosul has become scarce since the operation to recapture the city began four months ago. IS supply lines have been cut by government forces, backed by US-led coalition air strikes and military advisers on the ground.

Mosul is the jihadist group’s last major urban stronghold in the country.

 

BBC/Nora P.