Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Sunday the start of a military operation to drive Daesh from the western part of Mosul, which is currently still under the extremist militia's control.
"We announce the start of a new phase in the Operation [codenamed] 'We are Coming Nineveh' to liberate the western side of Mosul," al-Abadi said in a televised statement.
Mosul is the capital city of the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh.
"Our brave forces will embark on liberating the rest of this city and free its citizens from oppression and terrorism of Daesh," he added, using an Arabic acronym of Islamic State.
"Our main mission is to free man before we free land."
In the run-up to the new offensive, Iraqi jets dropped leaflets on the western part of Mosul, calling on Daesh fighters to surrender, the country's defence ministry said.
The offensive comes nearly a month after al-Abadi announced that Iraq had taken full control of the eastern part of the city.
In October last year, Iraq started a massive US-backed campaign to recapture Mosul from Daesh.
The al-Qaeda splinter group seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in a mid-2014 blitz.
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