Iraqi forces recapture 3 neighborhoods from IS in Mosul

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/1/10 9:51:07

Iraqi security forces on Monday retook control of three neighborhoods in the city of Mosul, as fierce clashes to drive out the Islamic State (IS) militants continued, the Iraqi military said.

In the eastern front, the elite forces of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) completely freed the neighborhood of Baladiyat and made a significant progress in the adjacent neighborhood of Sukkar, amid fierce clashes with the extremist militants, a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said.

The battles in the two neighborhoods left some 25 militants killed and a booby-trapped car destroyed, the statement said.

Also in the day, the CTS commandos carried out operation to clear the neighborhoods of Furqan and Atibaa in eastern side of the city, after the troops recaptured them from IS militants in the past few days after heavy clashes, the source said.

During the clearing operation, dozens of IS militants attacked the troops in Furqan neighborhood, but the troops repelled their attack, killing some 30 militants and destroying two of their vehicles carrying heavy machine guns, the source added.

In the southeastern front, the Iraqi federal police and army soldiers freed the neighborhoods of Domiz and Palestine after days of heavy street-to-street fighting against IS militants, while the battles continued in the nearby neighborhoods of al-Salam and Sumer, leaving dozens of IS militants killed and destroying three booby-trapped vehicles, the statement said.

The troops also attacked the neighborhoods of Sahiron and East Yarimja in southern Mosul amid heavy clashes with the terrorist militants, according to the statement.

In the northern front, the army soldiers backed by international aircraft continued their sporadic clashes during clearing operation to many of the 168-building residential compound of Hadbaa, which were freed in the advance which occurred for the time on Friday in the northern edges of the eastern side of Mosul, the statement said.

The battles in Mosul came as the CTS commandos, army troops and federal police launched on Dec. 29 the second phase of a major offensive to free Mosul.

The troops made their new push into several neighborhoods in the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris River.

Last month, battles in Mosul had been slowed as extremist militants used locals as human shields, resorted to suicide car bombs and made mortar and sniper attacks in stiff resistance.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a recent report that the military operations in Mosul, have pushed about 136,000 civilians to flee their homes in the city and its adjacent districts since the beginning of military offensive in October to reclaim the IS largest stronghold in Iraq.

More than 1.5 million people were trapped in the city of roughly two million population previously. Cold winter worsened the conditions for the displaced people who suffered severe shortages of food and water, while camps and other emergency shelters reached maximum capacity.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Oct. 17 announced a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.

Since then, Iraqi security forces, backed by international coalition forces, have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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