Iraq says Iranian commander killed fighting IS

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander was killed in an explosion during clashes with the Islamic State group west of Mosul, an Iraqi official told The Associated Press on Saturday, as aid groups voiced concern for the safety of civilians after Iraq’s government called for residents in militant-held neighborhoods to flee immediately.

Gen. Shaaban Nasiiri was an adviser to Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Soleimani has acted as a key adviser to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces — an umbrella group of Mostly Shiite militia forces sanctioned by the Iraqi government — in the fight against IS since 2014.

The Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said Nasiiri was killed Friday and is the first senior Iranian commander to die in the Mosul fight.

Inside Mosul, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces began the push to retake the Old City on Saturday morning, moving in on the district from three directions, according to a statement from Nineveh operations command, the authority…

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