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Iraqi volunteer forces seize 5 villages on western Mosul outskirts

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)
Members of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Sha’abi) gather in a street in the modern town of Hatra, near the eponymous UNESCO-listed ancient city, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, on April 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqi pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units have managed to reclaim complete control over five villages in the troubled northern province of Nineveh as they battle to drive Takfiri Daesh terrorist out of their last urban bastion in the country.

The media bureau of the volunteer forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement on Sunday that the fighters had liberated the villages of Tal al-Noufeli and Tal al-Masraj al-Faraj northeast of the mainly Shia-populated town of al-Ba'aj in addition to Karaan village.

Hashd Sha’abi forces later liberated the villages of Um Hajarah and Farkhouh.

Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat also stated that security forces had gained control over 60 percent of al-Zanjili neighborhood in western Mosul, killing 23 Daesh terrorists during a recent military operation there.

Dozens of civilians found in huge Daesh underground prison

Meanwhile, a local source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network that Iraqi troops have found a huge underground prison run by Daesh extremists in the western sector of Mosul.

The source added that dozens of people from Fallujah, Ramadi, Saqlawiyah and Karma cities were being held in the detention center.

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.

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