Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:09PM
Armored vehicles of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) assemble as they advance towards al-Resala neighborhood in west Mosul on March 21, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Takfiri Daesh militants. (Photo by AFP)
Armored vehicles of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) assemble as they advance towards al-Resala neighborhood in west Mosul on March 21, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Takfiri Daesh militants. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi government forces have made more territorial gains in Mosul as they are battling in joint operations with allied fighters to flush Daesh Takfiri militants out of their last urban stronghold in the crisis-hit Arab country.

Commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said on Tuesday that Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) forces had wrested full control over al-Resala neighborhood in the western part of the city, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

CTS members also killed a large number of Daesh extremists and inflicted heavy material damage on their positions, before recapturing the area.

Iraqi forces raised the national flag over several buildings there afterward.

Meanwhile, pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi – have killed at least 77 Daesh Takifirs during operations in Talal Badush region, located some 15 kilometers northwest of Mosul.

Iraqi Defense Ministry also announced in a statement that its F-16 and Aero L-159 ALCA fighter jets had struck the so-called Daesh military police headquarters in the al-Ba'aj district.

A member of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) patrols a position during the advance towards al-Resala neighborhood in west Mosul on March 21, 2017, as part of the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Takfiri Daesh militants. (Photo by AFP)

The statement added that Iraqi military aircraft also pounded a position of Daesh bombers in al-Hadar village, destroying the hideout, a workshop for building improvised explosive devices, an arms depot as well as a storage for trinitrotoluene and C-4 explosive compounds.

Elsewhere in the western province of Anbar, Iraqi Air Force warplanes killed 15 Daesh terrorists in Karablah and Rawa districts.

Additionally, Naji al-Mariani, a Hashd al-Sha’abi commander, said his forces had shelled the road linking Duluiyah, located some 75 kilometers north of Baghdad, to Mutabijah, killing 13 Daesh extremists in the process. Three high-ranking militant commanders were among the slain Takfiris.

Iraqi army soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters launched their offensive to retake Mosul last October and since then they have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.