A picture shows the Fourth Bridge over the Tigris River connecting eastern and western Mosul during an ongoing military operation against the Islamic State (IS) group on January 10, 2017.
Iraqi government forces launched a major offensive to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State group on October 17, 2016. Since then, they have retaken many areas in the eastern parts of Iraq's second city, but districts to the west of the Tigris River are still firmly in IS hands. / AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF        (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

    ISIS destroys Mosul bridges as troops advance

    By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
    ISIS has destroyed all five bridges crossing the Tigris River in Mosul, an attempt to slow the advance of Iraqi troops toward the western side of the city, according to Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, the commander of Iraqi Forces in Nineveh province.
    Residents of Bartella were full of emotions as they celebrated Christmas mass in their hometown church for the first time since it fell under ISIS control more than two years ago.

    Christmas reborn in Iraqi town freed from ISIS

    By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Pete Burn, CNN
    In the ancient Iraqi Christian town of Bartella -- recently liberated from ISIS -- Christmas was celebrated for the first time in more than two years on Saturday.

About 

    Mohammed Tawfeeq has more than 10 years' experience as an international news editor and producer specializing in the Middle East and North Africa. He has covered historic events in the region, including the US-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent sectarian violence, the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya and the rise of ISIS.

    His responsibilities include writing, filming, bureau management and producing for CNN correspondents and anchors.