Speed Reads

Crisis in Iraq

Iraqi troops close to capturing key Mosul bridge from ISIS

Iraqi government forces are fighting to capture the Iron Bridge in Mosul, Iraq, from the Islamic State, and if they are successful, they will control three of the city's five bridges.

The Iron Bridge links western Mosul with eastern Mosul, crossing the Tigris River, and on Tuesday, government troops were within 330 feet of the structure, Reuters reports. Federal police also killed the ISIS commander of Mosul's Old City, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary. The battle for Mosul began in October, and most ISIS leaders have left the city.

Residents escaping the fighting say in the areas still controlled by ISIS, food is scarce, and militants are telling them they need to go with them as they flee their neighborhoods. Mosul is the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq, and as many as 600,000 civilians are still living under ISIS rule. Government troops have captured eastern Mosul and have taken back 30 percent of the west from militants.