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Iraq Special Forces Pause Mosul Advance Due to Poor Visibility

Felipe Dana—AP Iraqi army soldiers warm themselves next to a fire near the Qayara air base, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. High humidity and clouds are obscuring the view of aircraft and drones

(GOGJALI, Iraq) — An Iraqi special forces general says his troops are holding their positions along Mosul’s eastern outskirts as poor weather hampers visibility in operations to rout Islamic State fighters from the country’s second-largest city.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil says no advances are planned for Wednesday, as high humidity and clouds obscure the view of aircraft and drones.

From the Mosul neighborhood of Gogjali, which is inside city limits but just outside more urban districts, the guns have gone largely silent, although sporadic rifle cracks could be heard as well as some army artillery fire on IS positions.

The pause comes after Iraqi troops on Tuesday set foot in the city for the first time in more than two years, gearing up for urban warfare expected to take weeks, if not months.

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