Iraqis armed forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air power captured a village in Nineveh province from Islamic State on Wednesday, the first advance on the northern front since the offensive was paused three weeks ago.

Mahana, sitting south of a main east-west road, became just the fourth village seized by the army in the Makhmour area, which is set to be a staging ground for a future assault on Mosul, about 60 km (40 miles) further north.

The advance brings Iraqi forces slightly closer to the oil town of Qayyara on the western banks of the Tigris River, control over which would help to isolate Mosul, the largest city held by the militants, from territory they control further south and east. […]