Iraqi fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have managed to retake eight villages west of Mosul as they are engaged in joint military operations with army troops to drive Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of their last urban stronghold in the Arab country.
Army First Lieutenant Samir Dawood said on Thursday that the pro-government forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, had wrested complete control over the villages of al-Wahbi, Arfie, Arfie Awwal and Amlihat.
Dawood added that Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had also recaptured the road linking the nearby al-Adnaniyah district and the mainly Shia-populated town of al-Ba'aj.
Later in the day, the media bureau of Hashd al-Sha’abi forces announced in a statement that the volunteer and pro-government fighters had liberated the villages of Kojou and Tel Ghazi north of Ba'aj from the grip of Daesh extremists.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters also retook the villages of Northern and Southern Biski north of Ba'aj.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
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.
The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement says over 526,000 people have been displaced amid the operation by Iraq's military and volunteer fighters to drive Daesh terrorists out of western Mosul.
The ministry said in a statement on May 19 that 526,233 civilians had experienced forced displacement in the face of the offensive, noting that the refugees had been accommodated in camps set up in the southern, eastern and liberated western parts of Mosul.