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Over 100,000 civilians flee homes in Mosul due to ongoing operations to free it from Islamic State (ISIS) Terrorist Group

Nearly 1,00,000 residents have been forced to flee their homes because of the ongoing operation to free western Mosul from IS militants

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Islamic State militants flaunt an armored vehicle seized from Iraqi security forces in the northern Iraq city of Mosul on June 23, 2014. VOA

Baghdad, March 13, 2017: The ongoing operations to free the western side of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) terrorists have pushed up to 100,000 civilians to flee their homes, the Iraqi government said on Sunday.

“The latest statistics of the Iraqi ministry of migration shows 99,852 displaced people since the launch of operations to free the neighbourhoods of Mosul’s right bank (western side),” Xinhua quoted a statement by Jassim Mohammed al-Jaf, Minister of Migration and Displaced.

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On Sunday, teams affiliated to the ministry received 10,607 civilians who left their homes from the battleground of the neighbourhoods of western Mosul, Jaf said.

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The migration ministry prepared appropriate places to shelter the displaced people and provided emergency supplies, including food and medicine, Jaf added.

The announcement came as the Iraqi security forces were pushing deeper into the IS-held western side of Mosul, locally known as right bank of Tigris River, which bisects the city.

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The troops dislodged IS terrorists from several neighbourhoods in the southern part of Mosul’s western side, including the main government buildings in the old city centre. (IANS)

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US Will Deploy Necessary Resources to Counter Dangerous Actions by Iran, Says General

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since the Trump administration last year withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and began ratcheting up sanctions

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FILE - Then-Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 4, 2018. VOA

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said Saturday that the United States would deploy the necessary resources to counter any dangerous actions by Iran, Sky News Arabia reported.

“We’re going to continue to reach out to our partners and friends in the region to ensure that we make common cause against the threat of Iran,” McKenzie, on an official visit to the Gulf region, was quoted as saying.

“I believe we’ll have the resources necessary to deter Iran from taking actions that will be dangerous,” he said, according to a transcript released by the Abu Dhabi-based channel. “We will be able to respond effectively.”

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Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops Syria in December after he said they had defeated Islamic State militants there. VOA

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since the Trump administration last year withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and began ratcheting up sanctions. Earlier this month, the United States blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Sanctions for oil purchases

Washington on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and some senior military commanders have threatened to disrupt oil shipments from Gulf countries if Washington tries to strangle Tehran oil exports. McKenzie also said a reduction of U.S. troops in Syria would be done cautiously.

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Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since the Trump administration last year withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and began ratcheting up sanctions. VOA

“On the long term, we’re going to reduce our forces in Syria. We recognize that; that’s the guidance in which we are operating. That will be something that we will look at very carefully as we go forward,” the general said.

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President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops Syria in December after he said they had defeated Islamic State militants there. In February, a senior administration official said the United States would leave about 400 U.S. troops split between two different regions of Syria.

McKenzie also said he was confident that the U.S. is going to have “a long-term presence in Iraq, focused on the counterterror mission.” (VOA)