Iraqi forces have managed to purge Daesh terrorists from three more neighborhoods in eastern Mosul as part of a major battle to retake the strategic city.
Brigadier General Haider Fadhil, a commander of the Iraqi special forces, said Thursday that the Iraqi troops had wrested control of Amn, Qahira and Green Apartments districts, all situated east of Tigris River that divides Mosul in half.
Fadhil further noted that the Iraqi forces were expanding their foothold in the densely-populated neighborhood of Zohour.
Also on Thursday, Ma’an al-Saadi, a commander with the Iraqi Counter-terrorism Service said his forces were battling Daesh in Mosul’s al-Khadraa neighborhood.
“They (terrorists) cannot flee. They have two choices -- give up or die,” he said.
Late Wednesday, Ja’afar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the Hezbollah Brigades, said the group’s forces had seized a road to the northwest of Mosul linking the city to Syria’s Raqqah.
“We have cut off Tal Afar from Mosul and we cut off Mosul from Syria,” Husseini added.
The Iraqi troops have currently focused their operations on Tal Afar, a town still held by Daesh west of Mosul.
Mosul fell to Daesh two years ago, when the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.
Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters have been leading an offensive to retake Mosul, the last Daesh bastion in the country, since October 17.
Daesh elements have been using snipers, booby traps and car bombs to stop the Iraqi forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed to rid Mosul of Daesh by the end of 2016.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday that approximately 76,000 people had been displaced since the beginning of the Mosul liberation operation.
Some 7,000 Iraqi citizens had already returned to their homes, but almost 69,000 people are still displaced, according to the IOM.