Islamic State propaganda reported that a “British jihadist suicide bomber” blew himself up in an attack against Iraqi forces who are getting closer to Western Mosul. The bomber was identified as Abu Zakiira and he has attacked the Iraqi army in the village Tal Kisoom situated south west of Iraq’s second largest city.

The Iraqi forces who comprise of elite units and federal police together with SAS troops, US special forces, Iraqi and Kurdish units, operating under Operation Shader, the codename for Britain’s participation in the war against Isil, are getting close to Western Mosul in an attempt to dislodge the militants from their stronghold. The troops are heading for the city center, where Isil militants have entrenched themselves.

Officials on the scene have described the campaign as well-planned and delivering early results, with units capturing the villages of Athbah and al-Lazzagah, both near Mosul airport.

The Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has asked the soldiers to “respect human rights” when he announced the start of the campaign on Sunday, February 19.

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