Advance on Mosul: Iraqi forces retake four villages near Daesh stronghold

Published August 17th, 2016 - 09:30 GMT
An Iraqi soldier walks past a sign pointing toward Mosul. (AFP/File)
An Iraqi soldier walks past a sign pointing toward Mosul. (AFP/File)

Iraqi government forces have managed to gain more ground in the troubled northern province of Nineveh as they are pushing to drive Daesh from the strategic militant-held city of Mosul.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, in a statement released on Tuesday, announced that elite counter-terrorism forces had gained control over the villages of Huwaysh, al-Jawa’enah, Jebelah and al-Ghaziyah, which lie in the Qayyar region and more than 50 kilometers south of Mosul.

The statement did not provide the exact number of casualties among Daesh, only saying that dozens of them had been killed during the battles.

The development came on the same day that Iraqi F-16 fighter jets carried out several airstrikes against Daesh positions in the Riyadh region of the town of Hawijah, situated about 282 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, killing scores of the extremists.

Also on Tuesday, Iraqi military aircraft pounded a Daesh hideout in Hassan Koi Village on the outskirts of Tal Afar city, situated 63 kilometers west of Mosul, killing all militants who had been holed up inside.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh mounted an offensive in  June 2014. The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in the Arab country, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

The Iraqi army and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have been engaged in joint operations to retake militant-held regions.

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