BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Iraqi forces reached the vicinity of Mosul airport on Monday after dislodging Islamic State fighters from a nearby hill, the Iraqi military said in a statement.


The Iraqi forces launched the offensive on Sunday to capture the west side of Mosul that remains under the control of the militants. The militants were dislodged from the eastern part of the city last month.


The Iraqi forces aim to take the airport, just south of Mosul, and turn it into a close support base for the offensive into the city itself.


(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Gareth Jones)