Mosul edges towards full siege, families struggle to find food

Other forces are advancing on the city from different directions, and the USA -led coalition is providing airstrikes and other support.

"Our forces have pushed back Daesh from nearly the entire eastern corner of the city and I would say they will soon be in full control of that area and then advance from there", General Rasoul said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla). An Iraqi injured boy who was wounded in Mosul during the fighting between the Iraqi forces and the Islamic State militants, receives medical treatments inside an emergency room at Rojava hospital, in Irbil, north Iraq, Sunday, .

"I am not going to judge the man by his election statements", al-Abadi said with a smile. "Planes from the coalition force and the air force are restricted because of the civilians".

The government launched a massive campaign on October 17 to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and the extremist group's last major urban center in the country. News stories displayed here appear in our category for General and are licensed via a specific agreement between and The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization.

"The problem here is we have not enough beds in the emergency (room)", he said. So, I think I am going to be looking forward to more USA support.

He added the support was "very helpful for us and is very helpful for the United States".

While the presence of US troops has at times been controversial in the eyes of al-Abadi's political opponents, USA involvement in Iraq has steadily increased on his watch.

A healthcare worker said militants had forcibly taken over an office at the clinic and that several had been there at the time of the attack, along with about 50 patients.

Inside Mosul Tuesday, special forces fighting in the eastern side of the city conducted house-to-house searches in a contested neighborhood, looking for vehicle bombs, explosive devices and snipers, who have been shooting at troops from roofs, according to Lt. Col. Muhanad al-Tamimy.

But while Iraq has witnessed an impressive string of territorial victories against IS under al-Abadi, the country is in many ways more divided politically than ever. Critics have said such a move would amount to a war crime.

Al-Abadi acknowledged that some militia fighters have been found guilty of committing abuses against civilians.