Iraqi forces kill 950 terrorists, recapture southern Mosul
Federal police chief General Shaker Jodat said late Friday troops had purged 1,850 square kilometers of Mosul’s southern front of Daesh militants and freed more than 10,000 families, the al-Sumaria news website reported.
The Iraqi soldiers destroyed 25 car bombs, 83 motorbike bombs, 92 explosive belts and some vehicles equipped with weapons and missiles during their advances in the area, Jodat said.
He further noted that police forces had confiscated 36 mortar shells containing chemicals.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s War Media Cell reported that Hashd al-Sha’abi forces had detained seven Daesh elements in the eastern province of Diyala.
Sadiq al-Husseini, the chairman of the security committee in Diyala provincial council, said that the arrests had been made in three different operations across the region.
New mass grave found
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have found a mass grave containing the remains of suspected victims of Daesh executions in a village recently retaken from the Takfiri terrorists near Mosul.
A team of AFP journalists visited the site behind a small sand-covered hill outside the village of Tall ad-Dhahab about 10 km south of Mosul on Friday, the news agency said.
Iraqi Lieutenant Yahya Jumma said locals believe that some 40 people may be buried at the ground.
“The majority of the victims were members of the security forces, army and police,” he said, adding the terrorists brought them by pickup trucks.
“There were around 40 people according to eyewitnesses who saw them,” he said.
The visiting journalists reported meter-high mounds at the entrance to the shallow pit and an overpowering stench with bone fragments scattered around the area. They said scraps of clothing and several bullet casings could be seen at the site.
Iraqi forces have discovered a number of Daesh mass graves in the country’s liberated districts, among them the one found last week near the agricultural college of the town of Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul.
Authorities are conducting an investigation at the site with Human Rights Watch estimating that the graveyard could contain some 300 bodies.
Hashd al-Sha’abi cuts Mosul-Raqqah supply route
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces on Friday said that they were set to cut the road to Syria that has been used by Daesh as a supply route over the past two years.
“We are now in the process of cutting the main supply road between Mosul and Raqqah, which runs behind the [Tal Afar] airport,” commander Shiekh Abu Karra Abadi told the Middle East Eye news portal.
“It was crucial for us to clear all this area to the west and cut the road so the Iraqi army can clear Mosul of Daesh without them being able to flee,” he added.
The volunteer forces wrested control of Tal Afar airport in western Mosul late on Wednesday.
Abadi said Daesh elements had retreated, some into Tal Afar city and some to Mosul. He hundreds of the militants had put up resistance to defend the supply route to Syria.
Secretary General of Iraq’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Ameri also said the Iraqi soldiers were in control of the area south-west of Mosul and would continue advancing until closing the Iraq-Syria border.
Gains across Nineveh province
Also on Friday, Iraqi fighters from pro-government Popular Mobilization Units liberated more areas in the embattled province of Nineveh, with Mosul as its capital.
The commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said that soldiers from the 9th Division of Special Forces have wrested full control of Tal Waei village south of Mosul, Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported.
The development came shortly after security forces recaptured the village of Omarkan, located north of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud and slightly over 30 kilometers south of Mosul.
Since October 17, the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been conducting an offensive to recapture Mosul.
The city fell to Daesh in 2014, the year the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.
Since the beginning of the Mosul battle, the 140,000-strong Hashd al-Sha’abi forces have liberated over 1,300 square kilometers of territory from the grip of terrorists, including more than 60 villages.