Sat May 20, 2017 1:48PM
Iraqi forces deploy in western Mosul's 17th Tamuz neighborhood as they continue their military offensive to retake the northern city from Daesh terrorists on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi forces deploy in western Mosul's 17th Tamuz neighborhood as they continue their military offensive to retake the northern city from Daesh terrorists on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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Iraqi government forces have wrested full control over two strategic neighborhoods in the western side of Mosul as they press ahead with operations to drive Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of the country’s second largest city.

Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said on Saturday that his forces had fully recaptured 17th July and Eqtesadieen neighborhoods of Mosul, and set up barricades and barriers in the liberated areas, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

He added that 66 Daesh terrorists had been killed while 13 explosive-laden cars and nine motorcycle bombs had been destroyed during the operations.

The high-ranking Iraqi official noted that federal police forces had regained control over 80 areas, killed 172 snipers, and destroyed 373 car bombs as well as 321 motorcycle bombs ever since the military campaign to liberate western Mosul from the clutches of Daesh extremists began in mid-February.

Iraqi forces deploy in western Mosul's 17th Tammuz neighborhood as they continue their military offensive to retake the northern city from Daesh terrorists on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Jawdat highlighted that Iraqi police forces had also helped the evacuation of 40,000 families from conflict zones, returned 10,000 displaced families to their hometowns and distributed foodstuff and basic commodities among some 55,000 families.

Meanwhile, the media bureau of the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement that the volunteer forces had intercepted and shot down a Daesh drone south of Qairawan region.

The statement added that the unmanned aerial vehicles had been rigged with explosives, and sought to target Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters stationed inside Sahl Sinjar airbase.

Over 526,000 Iraqis displaced amid west Mosul battle

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement says over 526,000 people have been displaced amid an operation by Iraq's military and volunteer fighters to drive Daesh  terrorists out of western Mosul.

The ministry said in a statement on Friday that 526,233 civilians had experienced forced displacement in the face of the offensive, noting that the refugees had been accommodated in camps set up in the southern, eastern and liberated western parts of Mosul.

Iraqis residing in 17th Tamuz neighborhood in western Mosul flee their area as Iraqi forces continue their military offensive to retake the northern city from Daesh terrorists on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the Mosul operation.

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.