Iraqi army makes advances in western Mosul as thousands flee fighting

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Federal police and an interior ministry unit known as Rapid Response have completely recaptured Hawi al-Josaq east of the city's airport and started clearing houses in the Tayyaran district to its north, said a military source.

Backed by aerial support from the US-led coaltion, Iraqi forces launched a new push into Mosul from the west after declaring the other side of the city "fully liberated".

Members of the Iraqi forces take cover as they advance towards Dindan neighborhood in the western half of the northern city of Mosul, as part of the offensive to retake the area from Islamic State (IS) group fighters, on February 25, 2017.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston brings us the latest from Erbil.

A spokesman with the Joint Operation Command confirmed to CNN the airstrikes that hit ISIS targets in Syria were coordinated with the Damascus government.

Iraqi forces launched a fresh push from the south on February 19, almost a month after the eastern side of Mosul was declared "fully liberated".

The battle for western Mosul is expected to be the most trying yet.

The cars used in those attacks, including one on a market in Baghdad's south-western Bayaa neighbourhood this month that killed at least 45 people, had been rigged with explosives in Bukamal and Husaybah, on the Iraqi side of the border, Iraqi officials said.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi said he had ordered the Iraqi air force to strike Islamic State positions inside Syria in retaliation for recent bomb attacks in Baghdad.

Husaybah was also the target of air strikes on Friday. The strikes were successful, he said.

It fell to the militant group in 2014, along with large areas of Iraq and Syria.

Suspected ISIS vehicle bombs killed at least 50 people in the village of Sousyan, about 10km north-west of al-Bab, on Friday, witnesses and the opposition activist-run Aleppo Media Centre said.