Iraq army, Peshmerga forces start closing in on Mosul
The Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have reportedly launched operations to tighten the noose around the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in their stronghold of Mosul, as part of larger-scale attempts to fully liberate the northern Iraqi city.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi government forces and their allies started a planned and multi-pronged offensive to first encircle, and ultimately drive out Daesh members from Mosul, which is located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad.
There are reports that around 6,000 Peshmerga fighters are participating in the operation alongside regular Iraqi military forces.
Mosul fell to Daesh early in the summer of 2014.
An offensive launched in 2015 to retake Mosul came to a halt because Ramadi, another Iraqi city, fell to Daesh back then. Ramadi was liberated later, in December 2015, and operations to retake Mosul are now being relaunched.
The army has said the terrorists have planted hundreds of roadside bombs and booby traps along main roads leading in and out of the city.
The Popular Mobilization units have announced that they will join the operation by the Iraqi army to liberate Mosul. The force, formed after the rise of Daesh in Iraq in 2014, has already helped the army liberate several militant-held areas.
Elsewhere in Iraq, security forces have managed to retake the villages of al-Tale’ah, Bustan al-Tikriti and Rikan — which lie southeast of the beleaguered western city of Fallujah — from Daesh militants and raised Iraq’s national flag over a number of buildings in the liberated areas.
Fallujah itself is under Daesh control, and a major operation is underway to liberate the city.
The 17th Infantry Division of the Iraqi army earlier regained control over the Fallujah Barrage on the Euphrates and pushed toward the heart of Fallujah.
Moreover, Iraqi forces established control over the villages of al-Ze’anethah, al-Dhaiban, and al-Atar besides the Abbas Jamil Bridge as they made progress toward al-Hitaween region near Fallujah.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.
The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.
The Iraqi army, along with fighters from the Popular Mobilization units, has been engaged in operations to liberate militant-held regions.