Iraqi pro-government fighters
Iraqi pro-government fighters Reuters

Iraqi Kurdish fighters are engaged in heavy fighting with ISIS, advancing from three directions on Bashiqa, just northeast of the strategically important city of Mosul.

Bashiqa was surrounded two weeks ago as part of Iraqi government offensive to retake Mosul. Iraqi special forces entered the town’s eastern outskirts six weeks ago and have pushed their way into a number of districts.

However, their progress has been slowed by suicide bombers, booby traps, and the need to engage in house-to-house fighting along narrow streets.

Mosul was taken by ISIS in 2014 and is the Jihadist terrorist organization's last urban stronghold in Iraq. On Sunday evening, the US special envoy to the multinational coalition fighting ISIS, Brett McGurk, said that the three-week offensive for re-taking Mosul was, “very much on track.”