BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi special forces reached the eastern bank of the Tigris in Mosul on Sunday for the first time in a U.S.-backed operation to drive Islamic State militants out of the city, a spokesman said.

Counter-terrorism service (CTS) troops fought their way to a bridge over the river which has been damaged in fighting, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told Reuters.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by John Davison; Editing by Mark Potter)