Iraqi forces began an operation to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS control. World leaders believe that this will be a symbolic victory, as Mosul is a city of significance to ISIS forces since it is the location where a caliphate was proclaimed. It is considered to be one of their last strongholds.
The house in which Adolf Hitler was born has been scheduled to be torn down to discourage neo-Nazi pilgrimage there. The Austrian government will replace it with a building unaffiliated with the war as a gesture of condemnation of any continuing support of Nazi ideals.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had his internet access cut by the Ecuadorian government, who acted out of a fear of blame regarding his recent involvement in U.S. politics. Assange has been living in the London Embassy of Ecuador since 2012 and has planned to continue his operations elsewhere in accordance with a contingency plan. The Ecuadorian government has stated that Assange remains protected under asylum.
Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, visited Beijing to begin diplomatic discussions with China. This follows Duterte’s inflammatory remarks towards the U.S. government, and is thought to signal a potential change in alliance in favor of China.
Forces in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 19. The ceasefire was preceded by a series of Saudi attacks during a funeral that took place in Sanaa. It is meant to provide time for civilians to flee and to facilitate negotiations for a more lasting peace to occur.