BAGHDAD — An Iraqi official says the country’s Shiite-led militia force has launched an operation to retake a small village held by the Islamic State group west of the embattled city of Mosul

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who heads the government-sanctioned militia forces known as the Popular Mobilization Units, says the push began in the early hours of Friday morning and aims to further sever supply lines in and out of Mosul. That’s according to a statement from al-Muhandis’ office.

Iraqi army, federal police and special forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are slowly retaking territory in Mosul where IS remains in control of a small cluster of neighborhoods in the city’s western half.

The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October and the city’s east was declared liberated in January.

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