Dec 10, 5:01 AM EST

Iraq sends reinforcements to eastern Mosul after IS attack

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MAKHMOUR, Iraq (AP) -- An Iraqi commander says reinforcements have been sent to eastern Mosul after a major Islamic State counterattack drove troops back last week, further slowing a nearly two-month-old offensive to retake the city.

Maj. Gen. Najim al-Jabouri said Saturday that Federal Police and Iraqi army units have moved from the southern front to the city's east, where most of the fighting has been concentrated in recent weeks.

Iraqi commanders had hoped to push up from the south to take Mosul's international airport, but those plans appear to be on hold.

Iraqi troops were driven back last week within hours of seizing the al-Salam hospital in eastern Mosul, which IS had been using as a base. More than 20 soldiers were killed before special forces opened a corridor for them to retreat.

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