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Iraqi forces retake key bridge in western Mosul

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A member of the Iraqi rapid response division reacts following an explosion in Mosul on February 26, 2017 during an operation by Iraqi forces to retake the city from Daesh. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi security forces have managed to take control of a key bridge and a neighborhood as they push further into western Mosul, the last major urban stronghold of Daesh terrorists in the country.

Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah - the commander of 'We Are Coming, Nineveh Operations' - said the Iraqi forces captured the neighborhood of Jawsaq as well as what is known locally as the fourth bridge across Tigris River on Monday.

He added that the Iraqi forces raised the national flag above several buildings in the neighborhood after inflicting heavy losses on Daesh terrorists, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the commander of the Federal Police Rapid Response Force, whose troops were involved in Monday’s operations, said the advance followed “fierce” clashes with Daesh elements.

Major General Thamir Ahmed added that the terrorists fought back with snipers, anti-tank missiles and car bombs.

He also acknowledged that Iraqi forces also suffered casualties, but did not give a specific number.

The capture of the bridge is strategically important as it could establish an important supply route, which would be used to bring in army reinforcements and supplies from the government-controlled eastern side of the city.

Daesh militants overran Mosul in June 2014. Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units - better known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha’abi -  managed to liberate the eastern quarter of Mosul from the clutches of Daesh terrorists in January, three months after launching the operation to regain control of the country’s second-largest city.

On February 19, Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters mounted a new offensive to liberate western Mosul.

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