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WATCH: Iraqi forces blow up ISIS ‘suicide truck’ just before it rams into troops

Click to play video: 'Video shows Kurdish forces blow up ISIS ‘suicide truck’ moments before ramming into troops'
Video shows Kurdish forces blow up ISIS ‘suicide truck’ moments before ramming into troops
WATCH ABOVE: Kurdish television channel records a dramatic and tense suicide truck attack north of Mosul on Thursday – Oct 20, 2016

BAGHDAD – Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Iraq’s campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIS

A Kurdish television channel, embedded with Iraqi Kurdish forces, filmed a dramatic and tense suicide truck attack north of Mosul on Thursday.

The footage showed Islamis State fighters in a heavily armoured vehicle driving towards the advancing Kurdish peshmerga fighters in the town of Telkif.

The peshmerga tried to hit the truck with rifle and machine gun fire. The fighter even fired an anti-tank missile at the truck, but missed.

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The video showed the peshmerga fire a second rocket, striking the truck just moments before the trucks rammed into the front line.

WATCH: British forces airstrike destroys truck bomb near Mosul

Click to play video: 'British forces airstrike destroys truck bomb near Mosul'
British forces airstrike destroys truck bomb near Mosul

Britain’s Ministry of Defence – part of the U.S.-led coalition mounting air operations against the Islamic State – released video on Thursday showing an air strike destroying what the Ministry of Defence said was another Islamic State suicide truck laden with explosives.

Royal Air Force Reaper drones, using bombs and missiles, destroyed an armed truck and three Islamic State heavy weapons teams south-east of Mosul on Monday.

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A multi-pronged offensive

The special forces backed by attack helicopters fought their way into the town of Bartella, where ISIS militants unleashed at least nine suicide truck bombs. Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati said the special forces retook Bartella, about 15 kilometers from the edge of Mosul. But Iraqi forces were facing stiff resistance inside the town shortly before he spoke.

The U.S. trained special forces are Iraq’s most highly trained and least sectarian fighters, and will lead the charge into Mosul.

READ MORE: Residents of town neighbouring Mosul rose up against ISIS before Iraqi troops arrived

Kurdish peshmerga forces also announced a “large-scale operation,” and peshmerga forces stationed on mountains northeast of Mosul descended from their positions and charged toward the front line. Military operations also appeared to be underway in the town of Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, which was pounded by airstrikes and peshmerga mortars the day before.

More than 25,000 forces, including the Iraqi army, the peshmerga, Sunni tribal fighters and Shiite militias are taking part in the Mosul offensive, which began Monday after months of preparation. They will be advancing on the city from several directions.

Iraq cites progress

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking by video link to diplomats meeting in Paris, said the Mosul offensive was moving “more quickly than we thought.” He vowed to protect fleeing civilians and said the government “will not allow any violations of human rights.”

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He was speaking by video link to a Paris conference, where diplomats from the U.S., Iraq and some 20 other countries gathered to devise a plan to protect civilians, distribute aid and address questions about governing areas newly liberated from IS.

The Islamic State group captured Mosul and the surrounding area during a lightning advance across northern Iraq in 2014, and IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of a self-styled caliphate from the pulpit of a Mosul mosque. Mosul is the largest city controlled by the extremists and their last major urban bastion in Iraq.

-With files from Reuters and Global News.

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