Fourteen villages in the northern and southern parts of Mosul have been retaken from control of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group by the Iraqi soldiers and the popular forces on Thursday. The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces are planning to surround IS terrorists from three different sides in the city and block their pathway to Syria.
Control over al-Khabat, al-Khalediyeh and al-Salehiyeh villages near al-Qayyara, Nahla, Soqra, Samaqiyeh, Kobra and Deiri villages near Sahl Neineva region, Khanisat, al-Makouk, Sidaveh and al-Manavir villages in southern Mosul, as well as over al-Nouran and Barima villages in northern Mosul was returned back by the Iraqi Army and its allies, local sources reported.
The sources also added that operations will be continued until all regions in Mosul to be liberated from the IS.
On Wednesday, Governor of the Iraqi province of Nineveh, Nofal Hammadi, announced that about 40% of the province was liberated from the IS by the Iraqi Army and its allies. The governor noted that terrorists provided little resistance during the liberation of the villages in the Nineveh province.
“The arrival of the Iraqi Security Forces to Mosul cheered up citizens and displaced people,” Hammadi said. “We are waiting for the full liberation of our province and the Iraqi flag will be raised on its center.”
“The Iraqi Security Forces liberated 40% of Nineveh province, and they met little resistance by IS members in the liberated villages due to their low morale,” Hammadi added.
Currently, a massive assault toward west of Mosul is planned to be launched by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, after a successful liberation of several villages during the past 48 hours.
According to local sources of the Al-Masdar news agency, if the popular forces attack the western flank of Mosul, IS terrorists would be surrounded from three different sides and have only the northern side of the city, opened for retreat. Such an operation would also close the pathway, which IS members use for retreat to the Syrian border and then to the territory of the neighboring state.
In addition to the planned ground assault, the Iraqi Air Force has started to strike positions of the IS along the Iraq-Syrian border in order to stop moving of the terrorists’ flow between the two countries.
Meanwhile, media reported that at least 100 IS commanders have already left Mosul and headed to Syria in connection with offensives of the Iraqi forces.
On Monday, speaking on a state TV-channel, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced that a large-scale operation in order to recapture a self-proclaimed capital of the IS, Mosul, has been started by the government armed forces and its allies.
“The hour has come and the moment of the great victory is near,” al-Abadi said.
He also promised that troops would act with the maximum caution in order to save civilian lives, as well as to avoid collateral damage in the city, where supposedly over a million people are still living.
The Prime Minister asked civilian population of the city to raise white flags over their houses and contact the government troops if they may provide any kind of helpful information about IS terrorists.
“We urge you, heroic people of Mosul, to cooperate with our security forces to rescue you,” al-Abadi added.