Iraqi army helicopter shot down by IS militants over Mosul

A machine gun is seen on the floor next to a map drawn to show distances in Mosul

Iraqi army helicopter shot down by IS militants over Mosul

Iraq's military on Wednesday urged residents to shelter in their homes in jihadist-held areas of Mosul, where its bid to oust the Islamic State group has taken a heavy toll on civilians.

Iraqi forces launched a major operation to retake Mosul in October, recapturing its eastern side before setting their sights on the smaller but more densely populated west.

Iraqi forces drove out IS militants from Tikrit in April 2015.

Among those killed were commanders in charge of booby traps, of Arab suicide fighters and child recruitment, the statement added, without identifying them by name.

Trump has made defeating Islamic State a priority of his presidency.

Bakheet said one of her sons was killed when the Islamists first overran Mosul and the other was accused of being a "renegade" and jailed a year ago.

Mosul, 400 km north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when government forces abandoned their posts and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions. The coalition has faced criticism for mounting civilian casualties in Mosul, the most controversial incident a March 17 strike in the Al-Jadida neighborhood of the city, which left at least 140 people dead, according to the United Nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, flew into Iraq on Monday with the top U.S. general to get a first-hand assessment of the battle against Islamic State from U.S. commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders.

The terror group branded the U.S. president an "idiot" in its first official remarks since the billionaire businessman took office.

Trump is examining ways to accelerate the US-led coalition campaign that USA and Iraqi officials say has so far been largely successful in uprooting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

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