BAGHDAD: Key dates in the Iraqi offensive to recapture Mosul, the country’s second biggest city, from Daesh militants who seized it in June 2014.
• Oct. 17, 2016: Iraqi forces launch the assault. It was in Mosul in July 2014 that Daesh supremo Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance, to urge Muslims worldwide to move to the recently proclaimed “caliphate” straddling Iraq and Syria.
Tens of thousands of army, police and counter-terrorism troops are thrown into the long-awaited offensive with air and ground support from a US-led coalition. Kurdish forces also take part in operations north and east of the city.
• Nov. 1: The army says it has entered Mosul city for the first time since 2014.
• Nov. 3: Al-Baghdadi breaks a yearlong silence, urging followers to fight to the death for Mosul in an audio recording. The Iraqi advance begins to slow.
• Nov. 13: Iraq says it has recaptured Nimrud, an ancient city southeast of Mosul.
• Nov. 23: Shiite-dominated paramilitary units known as the Hashed Al-Shaabi say they have cut Daesh supply lines between Mosul and the militants’ Syrian stronghold Raqqa, 400 km to the west.
• Dec. 29: Government troops end a two-week pause and launch the second phase of their assault on east Mosul.
• Jan. 8, 2017: Iraqi units reach the Tigris River that divides Mosul and take up positions near one of the city’s five bridges, all now destroyed.
• Jan. 24: The Joint Operations Command coordinating the fight says the east has been “fully liberated.”
• Feb. 19: Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announces the start of the battle for western Mosul, with Iraqi forces backed by coalition air power and close-in support from coalition advisers.
• Feb. 24: Iraqi forces seize full control of Mosul airport and enter their first west Mosul neighborhood. Three days later they take control of a fourth bridge over the Tigris.
• March 12: A US envoy says Iraqi troops have cut all roads into western Mosul, trapping remaining Daesh militants inside.
• March 14: Iraqi forces say they have captured the city’s train station after reaching other symbolic sites such as the regional government headquarters and the city’s museum.
• May 4: Iraqi forces launch a second front in northwestern Mosul to further seal the siege on the Old City, where Daesh has concentrated most of its resources.
• May 16: A military spokesman says it has recaptured almost 90 percent of west Mosul.
• June 18: Iraqi forces launch an assault to retake the Old City, where the UN says militants may be holding more than 100,000 civilians as human shields.
Since mid-October, more than 860,000 people are estimated to have fled Mosul.