By John Lee.
Iraqi forces have launched an operation to retake Mosul from so-called Islamic State group (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh), which seized the city in June 2014.
Iraqi military sources say the first part of the long-awaited offensive has recaptured several villages.
The aim, according to a BBC report, is to retake Mosul within the year.
The offensive is being supported by air strikes from the US-led coalition.
(Sources: BBC News, Deutsche Welle, BasNews)
(Mosul image via Shutterstock)