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Top US general visits key hub in fight for Mosul

Officials say the Mosul operation is going quicker than planned in some places, with units of Iraq's elite counter-terrorism force just six kilometres awayA top US Army general flew in to an airbase south of Mosul that will prove vital in Iraqi forces’ offensive on the Islamic State-held city. US Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the military’s Central Command, arrived at the base, which boasts a newly repaired runway, on a cargo plane to see the facility and receive an update on the battle for Mosul, now in its second week. A dusty wasteland of twisted reinforcement bars, booby traps and smashed buildings until only a few months ago, much of the airfield has been restored by US Air Force engineers and turned it into a key military installation for Iraqi security forces pushing north.

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