ISIS shot down Iraqi helicopter in Mosul battle

ISIS shot down Iraqi helicopter in Mosul battle

ARBIL: (APP) The Islamic State group shot down an Iraqi helicopter operating over Mosul Thursday, as security forces announced they recaptured another neighbourhood in their nearly six-month-old offensive against the jihadist stronghold.

The operation to retake west Mosul -- which the helicopter was supporting when it was downed -- has become a slow, grinding battle that has taken a heavy toll on civilians and pushed more than 200,000 to flee.

"The helicopter was supporting federal police forces in (west Mosul) and was hit by fire and crashed in the Mohandiseen neighbourhood in east Mosul," Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command, told AFP.

The city is divided by the Tigris River. East Mosul was recaptured earlier this year, but IS still holds significant ground on the city's western side.