Video- Iraqi forces making gains in battle for Mosul
Iraqi forces have made major advances in their battle to liberate the city of Mosul from Daesh. The operations are advancing from three directions, namely the south, the east, and the northeast of the city. Here is a series of the latest updates on the military push:
— The International Rescue Committee says that 200,000 people were likely to flee Mosul in first weeks of Iraq’s anti-Daesh operation. The aid group also warns that up to 1 million people in total could flee their homes in search of safety as a result of the battle to retake Iraq’s second largest city.
— The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that up to 100,000 Iraqis may flee Mosul for Syria and Turkey.
— The International Committee of the Red Cross has stressed the protection of refugees, saying they must be provided with safe passage.
— The head of the Joint Military Operation Command, General Talib Shaghati, says good progress has been made in the operation to liberate Mosul, adding that everything is moving forward according to plan.
— According to reports, the son of Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, has been injured in an explosion east of Mosul amid the ongoing operation.
— Local media say two senior Iraqi military commanders had been killed near Mosul during the ongoing operation against Daesh .
— Residents of two villages south of Mosul have engaged Daesh terrorists, with reports saying they have killed six members of the Takfiri group in al-Lazakah and al-Houd. A commander of Iraqi volunteer fighters hailed people’s rebellion against Daesh, saying it would hugely boost the morale of the military and allied forces in their push to liberate Mosul.
— Iraq’s al-Sumaria news website said the Daesh terrorists had begun transferring the group’s assets and cash money out of Mosul. It quoted local sources as saying that Daesh operatives were loading cash and valuables on trucks destined for the city of Raqqah, the de facto capital of the Takfiris in neighboring Syria.
— Military sources have said some 60,000 forces will be taking part in the Mosul operation.
— The Iraqi forces in the Qayyarah military base have headed to the south of Mosul to take part in the liberation operation.
— According to Iraq’s al-Sumaria news website, the Iraqi security forces have reached the outskirts of the town of Hamdaniya, southeast of Mosul. The terrorists reportedly suffered heavy losses and causalities in the Iraqi operations.
— The Daesh terrorists have reportedly set fire to the oil wells in Hamdaniya in an attempt to hinder the advances of the forces and to provide cover from airstrikes.
— The Iraqi Defense Ministry has said in a statement that the villages of Ibrahim Khalil and Kan Harami have also been liberated from the control of Daesh, al-Sumaria reported. The report added that the Iraqi forces have laid a siege on the village of Dzizah in the Kawir front-line.
— The Iraqi security forces have also recaptured the village of Bazkertan in Hamdaniya, east of Mosul, a field source told Al-Forat, adding the Daesh terrorists have fled the village en masse.
— Iraqi security forces have also liberated the villages of al-Hod and Sirt, south of Mosul, Iraqi sources said, adding that the troops are now advancing toward the center of al-Shura district, which lies south of Mosul.
— Iraqi security forces have also killed a senior Daesh commander, Ahmed Khatab Omar, in Mosul.
— According to Al Iraqiya TV, the Iraqi forces have regained control of the villages of Ibn Nayef and Nejma, south of Mosul, as well.
— The towns of Hamam Ali and Namrud in southern Mosul have also been purged from Daesh presence.
— Iraqi media say more than 43 terrorist positions have been destroyed in intensified airstrikes conducted by the Iraqi air force and the international coalition led by the US since the beginning of the liberating operation.
— Iraqi joint forces have also liberated the villages of al-Khadr and al-Abbas, east of Mosul after fierce fighting with the Daesh terrorists.
— Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has warned of potential revenge attacks by Daesh elsewhere in the country amid the losses the group is facing in Mosul.
— Iraq’s Federal Police have advanced six kilometers in their battle against Daesh to the south of Mosul, according to the commander of the forces, Shaker Jawdat.
— According to Al-Forat New Agency, Iraq’s Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have captured nine villages to the northeast of Mosul in the Khazer front-line on Monday. Shafaq News website had earlier said the Peshmerga fighters had captured the villages of Shaqoli, al-Badana al-Kobra and al-Badana al-Soghra to the east of Mosul.
— The commander of the armed forces in Kurdistan region said on Monday that more than 4,000 Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation for Mosul.
— The Popular Mobilization Units, also known by its Arabic name al-Hashed al-Sha’abi, have been firing artillery shells at the terrorists’ positions in southern Mosul.
— Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations (UN)’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, has expressed concern over the safety of the civilians trapped in Mosul. “Families are at extreme risk of being caught in cross-fire or targeted by snipers. Tens of thousands of Iraqi girls, boys, women and men may be under siege or held as human shields.” He added, “Depending on the intensity and scope of the fighting, as many as one million people may be forced to flee their homes in a worst-case scenario.”
— According to UN figures, up to one and a half million civilians may be trapped in the city.
Turkey must not intervene in Mosul operation
Senior Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says Turkey must not intervene in the operation to retake Mosul, stressing the Mosul operation “is exclusively within the domain of the Iraqi army” and Turkey and others have no right to use the battle as a way of settling scores with others.
This comes as Turkish media said on Monday that Ankara had sent a delegation to the Iraqi capital for talks on the controversial deployment of Turkish troops to the Iraqi soil. The reports say the delegation, headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın, will try to persuade Iraq to reconsider its objection to the presence of Turkish troops.
Unity key factor in Mosul liberation
Iraqi President Fuad Masum ensured Iraqis on Monday that Mosul will be liberated soon and reiterated the need for unity among various ethnic groups as a key element in the army’s push to retake Mosul.
Historic coordination between Iraqi army, Peshmerga fighters
Iraqi Kurdish leader Barzani has hailed the “historic” coordination between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters participating in the Mosul operation, saying some 200 square kilometers of land were purged of Daesh militants on the first day of the offensive.
Saving a city in distress
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operations to liberate Mosul from Daesh terrorists on Sunday.
The city fell to the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in June 2014 shortly after they unleashed a campaign of terror and destruction in the northern and western parts of Iraq.
Forces from al-Hashed al-Sha’abi as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are backing the Iraqi army in the final push to liberate Mosul, the last major Daesh stronghold in Iraq.