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Live Reporting

Alastair Lawson, David Molloy and Mal Siret

All times stated are UK

  1. End of Monday's live page coverage

    That concludes our coverage of the first day of an offensive by Iraqi government troops and Kurdish fighters to retake the city of Mosul - the last major stronghold in Iraq that is still held by the group known as Islamic State. 

  2. Mosul 'is not a means to an end'

    "The conditions that gave rise to Isis (Islamic State) in the first place are still there [in Mosul] and have been exacerbated, rather than alleviated, over the past two years since the jihadis took control in 2014," The Guardian's Ranj Alaaldin warns.

    "While President Obama clearly does not want Isis (or rather the 'caliphate') to outlive his presidency, there are no guarantees the US and the international community will continue their support and help to remedy these shortcomings, as well as mediate between rival factions," he writes.

    "In the short- and medium-term, Isis will continue to commit terrorist atrocities... and it still has its apparatus in Syria as a launching pad for attacks elsewhere. This latest offensive on Mosul won’t change that – and without substantial investment for rebuilding it’s unlikely to help Iraq become a more peaceful, stable country."

  3. 'Militants are on the back foot' - UK defence minister

    British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

    "Daesh (Islamic State) are on the back foot," British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says. 

    "The beginning of the encirclement of Mosul today is a big moment in our efforts to rid Iraq of Daesh. 

    "Mosul is a large and complex city and operations there will be tough but with coalition support Iraqi forces will prevail."

  4. Paris conference scheduled for 25 October

    Members of the US-led coalition fighting IS militants in Iraq and Syria will meet in Paris on 25 October to discuss the launch of the offensive in Mosul, a French defence official quoted by the Reuters news agency has said. 

    About 12 ministers from the US, Australia, Britain and Germany will attend the meeting, the defence ministry official said. 

  5. Army gears up for next advance

    Iraqi forces are besieging the village of Alahud, south of Mosul, where clashes between troops and Islamic State militants are underway, army officials say.     

  6. The car bomb threat across Iraq

    Scene of a car bomb attack in Yusufiya, south of Baghdad
    Image caption: Baghdad and its surrounding areas have been repeatedly targeted in car bombings carried by IS over the last two years - and Monday was no different.
    Peshmerga forces gather to the east of Mosul to attack Islamic State militants
    Image caption: Kurdish Peshmerga fighters gathering east of Mosul in a bid to retake the city have also been targeted by suicide car bombers.
    Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks on state TV as he announces the start of an offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State in Baghdad
    Image caption: Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (centre) - seen here with senior army officers announcing the Mosul offensive on Monday - hopes that retaking the city will bring such violence to an end.
  7. IS 'launches suicide strikes'

    Islamic State has launched a series of suicide attacks targeting Kurdish forces advancing on Mosul, the Aamaq news agency - which is run by the jihadists - has reported. 

    The agency claims that there have been eight suicide attacks against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Monday, and two Humvees belonging to the Kurdish forces and Shia militia east of Mosul were destroyed. 

  8. Mosul residents 'resist Islamic State'

    Some of Mosul’s remaining one million or more inhabitants have grown bolder in showing resistance to Islamic State forces ruling the city, US military officials quoted by The New York Times say. 

    "Graffiti and other displays of dissidence against the Islamic State were more common in recent weeks, as were executions when the vandals were caught," it says. 

    In addition the paper says there have been "recent reports of at least some underground resistance within the city, if mostly symbolic".  

  9. Webcam broadcast live from the Peshmerga line

    News agency Rudaw English is embedded with the Peshmerga forces involved in the operation.

    They've set up a live camera feed on their Facebook page, simply monitoring the northern offensive line.

    View more on facebook
  10. 'Crucial' that Mosul is recaptured

    Paul Bremer in 2003
    Image caption: Paul Bremer, the US administrator of Iraq for a year after the 2003 war, has said it is crucial that Mosul is recaptured.
    Quote Message: It will be a vital demonstration that ISIS [Islamic State] is losing... They lost Dabiq over the weekend and of course their headquarters in Raqqa which will presumably follow after the fall of Mosul, so this is an important part of the strategy against ISIS. from Paul Bremer Former US administrator in Iraq
    Paul BremerFormer US administrator in Iraq
  11. The battle for Mosul wil be 'a hard fight' - US commander

    The top US general in Iraq predicts that the battle for Mosul will be "a hard fight". 

    "But the Iraqi security forces are ready. They've been waiting to liberate Mosul for two years, and today is the day,'' Maj Gen Gary J Volesky is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying. 

  12. 'No safe routes out of Mosul for civilians'

    Displaced people who fled Mosul at a refugee camp in Duhok, Iraq (16 October 2016)
    Image caption: Civilians displaced by the fighting have been arriving at a camp in neighbouring Dohuk province

    The operation to retake Mosul has begun without clear routes set up for families to escape safely, leaving thousands exposed to getting caught up in the fighting, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warns.

    The organisation says that with no clear safe routes out of Mosul, thousands are now in danger of getting caught up in the crossfire. 

    "Civilians who attempt to escape the city will have little choice but to take their lives into their own hands and pray that they are able to avoid snipers, landmines, booby traps and other explosives. The IRC is also worried that oil burning in trenches around Mosul will harm the health of children and the elderly,” Iraq County Director Aleksandar Milutinovic says.

    It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people could flee from the city in the first weeks of the assault and currently there are only 60,000 tents available at seven emergency camps. 

    In total, up to one million people could flee their homes in search of safety during the military operation, with an estimated 700,000 requiring shelter, food, water and other vital aid, the IRC says.

  13. Mosul 'will be recaptured in a few weeks'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Video content

    Video caption: Iraq's ex-national security advisor says the IS hold on Mosul will be broken in weeks.

    Mosul will be "liberated" from the hold of so-called Islamic State in a few weeks, says Iraq's former national security adviser. 

    Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who is currently an Iraqi MP, says the Iraqi security forces were prepared to fight in the city for six months, but that he expects "total victory" much sooner. 

  14. The Mosul assault proceeds in earnest

    Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters arrange boxes with mortar shells on the top of Mount Zardak, about 25km (15 mles) east of Mosul
    Image caption: Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters arrange boxes of mortar shells on the top of Mount Zardak, about 25km (15 mles) east of Mosul
    Smoke rises to the east of Mosul during clashes with so-called Islamic State militants
    Image caption: Smoke rises to the east of Mosul during clashes with so-called Islamic State militants
    Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire a multiple rocket launcher from the top of Mount Zardak
    Image caption: Peshmerga fighters fire a multiple rocket launcher from the top of Mount Zardak
  15. Mosul assault 'speeds up Raqqa preparations'

    The attack on Mosul has prompted US military planners to speed up preparations for the operation to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of so-called Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate, the Washington Post's Josh Rogin says.

    "But in the rush to rob the Islamic State of territory, scant attention is being paid to what happens the day after the city falls," he writes.

    "Inside the Obama administration, there is concern in some quarters that the military planning for retaking Raqqa is outpacing the planning needed to make sure that the city does not descend into new chaos or follow-on conflict once liberated." 

    Rogin quotes US officials as saying that there is "no agreed-upon governance plan, no comprehensive humanitarian response and no consensus on who will provide security for the area once the terrorists are ousted". 

  16. 'Six Peshmerga fighters killed in clashes'

    At least six Peshmerga fighters have been killed and 16 others injured so far in Monday's fighting around Mosul, the Kurdish Rudaw news agency has reported.

  17. IS supporters focus on chemical weapons threat

    There has been a varied reaction to the offensive from IS supporters online, ranging from defiance to prayers, BBC Monitoring reports. 

    One prominent pro-IS account on the messaging app Telegram called on supporters to focus on the possibility of the group using the blister agent sulphur mustard against Iraqi pro-government forces. IS has used the chemical agent in attacks on Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq since 2015.

    Residents of Mosul were also urged by IS supporters to help the group defend Mosul.

  18. IS always 'allowed to escape', former US intelligence officer says

    A former US Army intelligence officer tells the BBC the "rush" to take Mosul will likely let IS regroup.

    Michael Pregent, who now works for policy research group the Hudson Institute in Washington, says IS militants have repeatedly been allowed to retreat by ground forces in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

    "[IS] is already moving westwards, and towards Raqqa [in Syria]. What's stopping them?"

    "There should be a force stopping them from moving that way. One of the biggest problems is there is a rush to get this done."