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Iraqi forces liberate more Mosul areas from terrorists’ grip

A member of Iraqi Special Operations Forces walks during an operation to clear Mosul’s Andalus district of Daesh terrorists on January 16, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraqi forces have managed to retake control of several areas in Mosul as part of a large-scale military operation to purge the Daesh Takfiri terrorists from the strategic northern city.

The Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported the recapture of Mosul’s Suez and Sinharib districts by Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) on Tuesday.

Moreover, the commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, announced the liberation of al-Jazair, al- Darkazliyah, and al-Zarai neighborhoods in Mosul’s left bank, adding that the national flag was hoisted over buildings there.

He further noted that the Iraqi forces were in control of Mosul’s Central Mosque after heavy clashes with Daesh elements there.

The districts of Bab al-Shams, Mohandesin, Atshanah, Numaniyah, Eastern Nineveh, Souq al-Ghanam and al-Ma’a were among several areas in Mosul’s western bank that were fully retaken from the militants.

Displaced Iraqis, who fled Daesh militants, cross the bridge in Mosul’s al-Muthanna neighborhood on January 15, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Elsewhere in his remarks, Yarallah said that the Daesh terrorists had suffered heavy losses in the aforesaid areas, noting that Iraqi Air Force’s strikes destroyed an explosives-laden bulldozer in Akab Vally in Mosul’s eastern bank.

Iraqi forces also captured the site of the Mosque of the Prophet Younis after pushing the Daesh terrorists out of a new neighborhood in eastern Mosul.

The mosque was among dozens of historical and heritage sites, which were destroyed by the Daesh militants after they stormed the city in June 2014. The mosque was built on an archaeological site, which dates back to the 8th century BC.

Sabah al-Numan, spokesman of Iraq’s Special Forces, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that Iraq’s security forces found only the fences of the mosque alongside the ruins.

In northern Mosul, the Iraqi army troops moved into the militant-held Kindi military base, according an unidentified officer.

Additionally, the rapid response units of the Iraqi federal police secured much of the eastern bank of the Tigris River that divides Mosul in half.

Lieutenant-Colonel Abdel Amir al-Mohammedawi, a spokesman for the rapid response forces, said some Daesh elements had fled by boat and taken civilians as human shields.

"They fled the eastern bank for the west, and took women and children," he added.

Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a high-ranking CTS commander, announced on Monday that the Daesh terrorists had been driven out of 90 percent of eastern Mosul.

"Roughly all the eastern axes for which CTS is responsible will be completed and we will announce the liberation of the entire eastern side," said CTS spokesman, Sabah al-Numan.

Since last October, a 100,000-strong force of Iraqi army troops and allied fighters has been leading the Mosul offensive, the second phase of which began last month. Advances have gathered pace over the past few days.

Defeating Daesh in Mosul would deal a crushing blow to the Takfiri outfit that launched its campaign of terror in northern and western Iraq in 2014.

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