Iraqi Army Recaptures 3 More Districts North of Mosul
“The districts of Nawafel, Simyak and Abbasiyeh were freed from ISIL by the Iraqi army men,” security sources were quoted by Iraqi press as saying.
According to the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, the number of districts recaptured from ISIL terrorist group now stands at, at least, 24.
Military and police commanders claim the government forces now control nearly 50 percent of the Eastern part of Mosul.
However, they admit that ISIL terrorists show fierce resistance, using booby-traps and suicide attacks.
The commanders also underlined that one of the factors that slow down operations against terrorists holding Mosul is security of civilians that are caught within the battlefield.
The operation in Mosul has been ongoing since October 17.
Fierce clashes erupted in Mosul’s al-Salam neighborhood on Wednesday, as Iraqi forces made gains against ISIL terrorists deep inside the Northern city and advanced closer to the Tigris River, which divides the city into Eastern and Western sides.
The Iraqi army’s 9th Armored Division announced the recapture of al-Salam Hospital in Eastern Mosul on Tuesday, however, fighting continued on Wednesday in the al-Salam neighborhood, where the five-storey medical institution is situated.
The ISIL elements were said to have been using the hospital’s upper floors and roof as sniper positions for some time.
“We advanced in al-Salam district but the situation is difficult, there is heavy fighting,” said Iraqi Brigadier General Shaker Kadhem, adding, “We took control of al-Salam Hospital, which was a command Center for ISIL.”
He further noted that the latest push in Mosul was aimed at meeting up with the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces on the banks of the Tigris in Mosul’s Southeast.
A senior unidentified CTS officer also said the fighting in al-Salam district was fierce and the Iraqi army had called for backup.
“The 9th Division’s situation is difficult and they have called for support. We are sending a regiment there,” he said, noting that the soldiers “are surrounded now in al-Salam Hospital… and we are on the way so we can open a passage for them.”
Meanwhile, the ISIL-affiliated Amaq news agency reported that the militants had carried out five car bombings in the al-Salam area.
The Iraqi Federal Police also confirmed that several car bombs were exploded while bombers set off their explosives in the flashpoint district around al-Salam Hospital.