Iraqi fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have managed to gain complete control of the ancient city of Hatra southwest of Mosul, as they are helping government troops with battles to drive Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of their last urban stronghold in the Arab country.
The media bureau of the pro-government forces, commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement on Thursday that fighters from the 2nd and 11th brigades had liberated Hatra, located 110 kilometers southwest of Mosul, and are purging the western outskirts of the city of the Daesh Takfiris.
The statement added that Hashd al-Sha’abi forces were currently clearing Hatra of hidden explosive devices laid by the terrorists.
'Daesh holds only four districts in western Mosul'
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Iraqi military figure says the Daesh extremists were only in control of four neighborhoods in the western part of Mosul.
Sabah al-Nuaman, a spokesperson of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), said the elite forces had delivered a fairly harsh blow to Daesh by retaking al-Tenek district, where some 500 militants had been killed in security operations.
He added that only four neighborhoods were controlled by the Daesh extremists in the western part of Mosul.
Furthermore, Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters have reclaimed control over Jadida village on the western outskirts of Mosul.
The United Nations says nearly half a million civilians have fled fighting since the offensive to retake Mosul from the Daesh terrorists started on October 17, 2016.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on April 17 that 493,000 people had been displaced from the city, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad.
As many as 500,000 civilians are still trapped in Daesh-controlled neighborhoods of western Mosul.
Iraqi army soldiers and pro-government popular fighters have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the operation to retake Mosul.
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.