Iraqi forces capture over half of western Mosul
Iraqi forces have control of 65 percent of western Mosul. (AFP/File)
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Iraqi forces have captured more than half of territories in western Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, according to a military spokesman.
"Our forces have seized control of 65 percent of western Mosul,” Brigadier-General Yahya Rasoul, spokesman for Iraq's joint operations command, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
He said Daesh militants were retreating against Iraqi forces in the area.
"Our security forces are currently battling in four districts deep inside the city’s western side,” the spokesman said.
Earlier Sunday, police officer Abdul-Ghani al-Maadedi said Iraqi forces seized control of the Corniche Street and Al-Souq al-Tugari district in the center of western Mosul after deadly clashes with Daesh militants.
More than 5,000 Iraqi civilians have fled their homes in western Mosul as Iraqi forces are struggling to dislodge Daesh militants from the northern city.
“Iraqi forces have evacuated around 5,200 civilians from western Mosul in the past 24 hours,” military officer Jabbar Hassan told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
He said the exodus of civilians from the city’s western side was still continuing.
“We expect a surge in the numbers of displaced people as our forces pushed deep into populated areas in western Mosul,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iyad Rafed of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society said the Hammam al-Alil displacement camp – which accommodates up to 4,000 families in southeastern Mosul – is no longer able to receive any more refugees.
“There are more than 24,000 in the camp, which is now unable to receive any refugee,” he told Anadolu Agency.
According to the UN, some 750,000 civilians in western Mosul now face a serious humanitarian crisis.
In mid-February, Iraqi forces -- backed by a U.S.-led air coalition -- began fresh operations aimed at dislodging Daesh from western Mosul.
The offensive comes as part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the city, which Daesh overran -- along with much of northern and western Iraq -- in mid-2014.
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