Iraqi forces making headway in fight for western Mosul

Published March 1st, 2017 - 11:00 GMT
Iraqi forces are making gains against Daesh in western Mosul. (AFP/File)
Iraqi forces are making gains against Daesh in western Mosul. (AFP/File)

Iraqi government soldiers and their allied forces have made more achievements in their push to take back the western flank of the strategic northern city of Mosul from Daesh militants.

Commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah said soldiers from the 9th Armored Division had managed to recapture Tal al-Rumman village on the western outskirts of Mosul, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

The high-ranking Iraqi military commander went on to say that government forces had inflicted heavy losses on Daesh ranks during the operation, before they hoisted the national flag over a cluster of buildings in the area.

Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat also announced in a press statement that rapid response teams had raised the Iraqi flag over the Engineering College and Olympic Swimming Pool in Mosul’s western neighborhood of Jawsaq.

Separately, the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said Iraqi government forces had retaken the village of Khubairat al-Atshana following intense clashes with Daesh Takfiris there.

The media bureau of Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – also said the pro-government fighters had killed 15 Daesh members while advancing towards Darnaj village, which lies close to Atshana Hills.

Moreover, a high-ranking figure of the Daesh group and three of his close aides were killed during bitter clashes with Iraqi security forces in the Dawasah neighborhood of central Mosul. Government troops could establish control over much of Dawasah on Sunday.

On February 19, Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters mounted a new offensive to liberate western Mosul.

International aid organizations have warned against the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of civilians from western Mosul.

Makeshift camps are being built up in nine cities near Mosul and tents are being pitched in existing camps to accommodate up to 400,000 internally displaced people.

Elsewhere in the northern province of Salahuddin, Iraqi fighter jets carried out an airstrike against Daesh positions on the outskirts of Samarra city, located 125 kilometers north of Baghdad. Among those killed was the self-proclaimed Daesh governor of Salahuddin, identified as Abu Dajjaneh as well as the so-called Commander of Samara Offensive Abu Abdulrahman.

Iraqi military aircraft also carried out a raft of aerial attacks against Jazira region of the same province, killing more than 50 militants and destroying a considerable amount of their ammunition in the process.

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