Iraq paramilitary troops take strategic town close to Mosul
Troops have captured a key town near Mosul from Islamic State militants, a senior Iraqi leader said.
The deputy head of Popular Mobilization Forces - a n Iraqi government-sanctioned paramilitary force - said in a statement that the troops entered the centre of Baaj town, west of Mosul, on Sunday morning.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis said the progress is a "big and qualitative achievement" in the US-backed operation to retake Mosul, which was launched in October.
The town, near the Syrian border, is considered one of the important supply lines for IS through Syria.
The Iran-backed PMF - an umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias - has largely operated since October in the desert west of Mosul, trying to cut IS supply lines.