Fresh offensive begins against Isil in western Mosul, as Iraqi prime minister urges forces to ‘respect human rights’

Iraqi forces have launched an early morning ground offensive to dislodge Isil militants from their remaining stronghold in western Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the campaign, asking Iraqi forces to “respect human rights” during the battle, after a series of shocking videos and images depicting abuse by uniformed men emerged.

US-backed Iraqi forces including elite units and the federal police snaked north through the outlying areas of western Mosul on Sunday, backed by coalition air support.