VIDEO: Iraqi Forces Establish Control over Strategic Town in South of Mosul City
The troops managed to expel the ISIS militants and raised the Iraqi flag on the buildings of the local administration on Saturday after breaking the town from three fronts.
Government forces reportedly killed dozens of terrorists in the fighting to seize the control of this populous and prominent stronghold of ISIS in the province of Nineveh.
Inside the city of Mosul, the troops slowed its advance on the eastern side and broke into the neighborhoods of Al-Zahra, Al-Qadesiya, Al-Bakr and Al-Tahrir, all in eastern Mosul, said Assistant Head of Counter-terrorism Brigadier General Abdelwahab al-Saedi.
The forces are removing explosives and evacuating civilians from these areas, while cleaning the neighborhoods of Al-Karama and Al-Shuqaq to Jadraa Qudis, where the ISIS resistance still remains.
The anti-terrorist troops killed 150 militants in the last two days of fighting, said Al-Saedi. Terrorists are now infiltrating and carrying out suicide attacks against the troops, struggling to ensure their control over the areas of eastern Mosul.
Media were banned on Saturday from entering Kukyeli, the east end of Mosul, the first city in which the anti-terrorist forces were stormed last Tuesday.
Moreover, in fear of camouflaged fighters among civilians who attempt to leave Mosul, government troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have set up more roadblocks. Mosul residents are continuing fleeing the city, and the arrival of displaced camps Al-Jazer and U3 has increased markedly, according to the NGO Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
The organization said in a statement that it has assisted more than 9,000 people and a thousand families on Saturday, mainly from Kukyeli.
The Iraqi Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Haidar al-Abadi, on Saturday visited the base of the operations for liberation in Nineveh, south of Mosul, and mustered the troops. He also went to the battle zone, east of Mosul, which is the base of the anti-terrorist forces, and talked with military commanders who directed operations within the city.
Al-Abadi then met a group of Iraqi pilots, saying that he appreciated their “acts of heroism and sacrifice for winning and crushing the terrorist bands Daesh and liberating territories.”
In one of the cities released on Oct. 23, the mainly Christian town of Al-Hamdaniya, authorities are studying how to restore the full security of the streets. The mayor of the city, Nisan Karrumi Razuki, said Saturday that the first thing is to “rebuild institutional buildings for restoring services” and then “assess the damage in homes and churches and compensate for the people who will come back.” “There are some areas where there are still explosives and so we have to clean up these sites well before doing anything else,” he said.
Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have expelled ISIS in dozens of towns and large areas in the province of Nineveh since they launched their offensive on Oct. 17.