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Iraqi forces recapture more villages around Daesh-held Mosul

Iraq's counter-terrorism forces prepare to attack Daesh positions as fighting to retake the militant-held city of Mosul entered its second week, in the village of Tob al-Zawah, outside Mosul, on October 24, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Iraqi army soldiers, backed by fighters from pro-government Poplar Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, have retaken more villages from Daesh Takfiri terrorists as part of a massive operation to liberate the northern city of Mosul.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement on Monday that the 15th Division of the army and security personnel wrested control over Khafsan village and nearby thermal power plant, and raised the national Iraqi flag over several buildings there.

The statement added that security forces were now advancing on Munira village, which lies south of Mosul.

A Nineveh provincial police source also told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network on condition of anonymity that Iraqi security forces had recaptured the village of Zalhafa northwest of the town of al-Shoura, which itself is situated some 30 kilometers south of Mosul.

On Monday afternoon, Iraqi security forces marched through the heart of Karamlis district east of Mosul. The JOC said government forces will seize full control of the terrain within the next few hours.

Additionally, Iraqi counter-terrorism units liberated the villages of Khaznah, Khaznah al-Tabbah, Tob al-Zawah, Muwafaqiyah and Tahrawah on the outskirts of the recently-liberated Christian-majority town of Bartella, located about 21 kilometers east of Mosul.

Earlier on Monday, Iraqi forces drove Daesh extremists out of the villages of Ayn al-Namroud and al-Na’amaniyah south of Mosul.

Iraqi army kills over 700 Daesh militants week into Mosul battle

Meanwhile, Iraq's Joint Operations Command said on Monday that armed forces have killed 772 Daesh militants and freed 74 villages in the first week of the operation to retake Mosul.

Iraq's counter-terrorism forces patrol outside the town of Bartella, Iraq, on October 22, 2016. (Photo by AP)

It added that 23 Daesh members have been detained, two bomb-making workshops uncovered, 397 improvised explosive devices detonated and 127 booby-trapped vehicles destroyed during the same time.

No agreement between KRG, Turkey over Ankara’s role in Mosul offensive

Furthermore, the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has stressed that there is no cooperation between the semi-autonomous northern Iraqi region and Turkish government concerning the operation to liberate Mosul.

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march down a dirt road in Nawran village, some 10 kilometers northeast of Mosul, on October 20, 2016, during an operation to retake the city from Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey has been adamantly seeking a role in Mosul recapture, rejecting Iraq’s opposition to the deployment of its forces to the Arab country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region at the same time.

On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi opposed the US push for Turkey’s participation in the Mosul offensive, stressing Iraqi forces will accomplish the task themselves.  

"I know that the Turks want to participate, we tell them thank you, this is something the Iraqis will handle and the Iraqis will liberate Mosul and the rest of the territories," Abadi said following a meeting with visiting US Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Baghdad.

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