Iraqi Army Forces Liberate 6 ISIS-Held Villages South of Mosul
The army’s 6th Brigade, the 17th Division said the troops of the division have “liberated” the villages over the past three days, adding they will continue operations to liberate the remaining villages before heading to Hawija.
“We’ve liberated six villages and we are heading to Hawija and we will liberate, God willing and then we will head to Mosul,” said non-commissioned officer Salah al-Faraji from the army’s 17th Division.
Strategically located east of the road from Baghdad to Mosul and near the Kurdish-held oil region of Kirkuk, the region became an Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) stronghold when the ultra-hardline Sunni militants swept across northern and western Iraq in 2014.
Western-backed Iraqi forces have begun shelling areas of west Mosul for the first time, residents said, as they prepare to open a new front in their tough military campaign against Islamic State militants controlling the city.
Federal police forces, stationed a few miles south of Mosul, on the west bank of the Tigris river, aim to advance towards the airport on the southern edge of the city.