Mon Apr 10, 2017 04:43PM
Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces advance towards the Matahen neighborhood of Mosul on April 10, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces advance towards the Matahen neighborhood of Mosul on April 10, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi government forces have liberated two more districts in the western flank of Mosul during wide-ranging joint operations with allied popular fighters to retake the country’s second largest city from Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

The commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said on Monday that members of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) had reclaimed al-Sakak and al-Yarmuk neighborhoods, and raised the Iraqi national flag over a number of buildings there, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

Yarallah added that Iraqi forces had inflicted heavy losses on the Daesh ranks during the operations and destroyed a large amount of their military hardware.

The developments came as the media bureau of the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement that pro-government fighters had shelled ten vehicles carrying munitions for Daesh extremists in al-Hamra village west of Mosul, destroying the weapons and killing all the militants onboard.

Over 280,000 Iraqis displaced amid west Mosul battle

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement says over 280,000 people have been displaced amid an operation by Iraq's military and volunteer fighters to drive the Daesh  terrorists out of western Mosul.

The ministry said in a statement on Monday that 281,630 civilians had experienced forced displacement in the face of the military campaign, noting that the refugees had been accommodated in camps set up in the southern and eastern parts of Mosul.

The statement further noted that the displaced families had been provided with basic commodities as well as essential medication.

Displaced Iraqis from Mosul's Matahen neighborhood leave their homes as Iraqi Counter- Terrorism Service (CTS) forces advance in the area on April 10, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP) 

Iraqi army soldiers and popular fighters have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the operation to retake Mosul last October.

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

Daesh executes 12 civilians in northern Iraq

Separately, Daesh extremists have killed a dozen civilians near the town of Hawijah, situated about 282 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad.

The terrorists executed the victims after accusing them of trying to contact Iraqi security forces via cellular phone, said the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC).

New mass grave of Izadi Kurds found in Sinjar

Furthermore, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have found a mass grave in the country’s northern province of Nineveh, which is thought to be containing the bodies of more than a thousand minority Izadis murdered by Daesh terrorists.

A local official said on condition of anonymity that the grave contained the remains of 1,646 Izadi citizens.

Mahma Xelil, the mayor of Sinjar, said the latest discovery brought to 31 the number of Izadi mass graves unearthed so far. He predicted that the number of the graves could increase to 50.

Members of the Izadi minority search for clues on February 3, 2015, that might lead them to missing relatives in the remains of people killed by Daesh terrorists, a day after Kurdish forces discovered a mass grave near the Iraqi village of Sinuni in the northwestern Sinjar area. (Photo by AFP)

Back in August 2014, Daesh terrorists overran Sinjar, killing, raping, and enslaving large numbers of Izadis. The town was later recaptured on November 13, 2015, during a two-day operation by Peshmerga forces and Izadi fighters.

The Office of Kidnapped Affairs in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk says around 3,500 Izadi Kurds are being held captive in the Daesh-held areas, and that a large proportion of the abductees are women and children.