Iraqi forces have launched a military operation to liberate the western part of the city of Mosul from the ISIS terrorist group.
On Sunday, the Iraqi military liberated a number of villages – Al-Kafour, Jasmia, Bijwarey, Athba and Lazaka south of the city and deployed in a striking distance from the Mosul International Airport located in the ISIS-held part of Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially announced the start of the operation.
“Our forces are beginning the liberation of the citizens from the terror of Daesh [ISIS],” Abadi said in a televised speech on Sunday morning. “We announce the start of a new phase in the operation. We are coming, Nineveh, to liberate the western side of Mosul.”
Reports appear that the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) will aslo participate in the operation. However, the PMU’s role remains unclear. Now, PMU forces are blocking the logistical lines west of Mosul, preventing ISIS terrorists from corssing the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The Iraqi military’s attack helicopters destroy ISIS targets near Tal Afar west of Mosul:
— Iraqi Day 🇮🇶 (@iraqi_day) February 19, 2017