Iraq Army Rejects Presence of US Troops in Mosul Battle
“The second phase of the Nineveh liberation operation is underway in Northern Iraq as planned and the presence of any foreign troops, including the US military in the military advances in the city of Mosul is not correct and is strongly rejected,” Major General Abdulwahab al-Saedi said on Saturday.
General al-Saedi said that his forces have fully taken control of al-Qods region in the Eastern part of Mosul city and are advancing in the region to seize back more lands.
He pointed to the western media reports on the presence of the US troops in the Mosul liberation operations, and said, “This is sheer lie; if the US soldiers had been fighting against the ISIL, the US Command Headquarters would have surely announced it before anyone else.”
General al-Saedi said that not even one US soldier is present in the Mosul military operations, adding, “This operation is conducted only by the Iraqi forces and they are advancing in all scenes and battlefronts; even one non-Iraqi soldier (whether American or non-American) is not present in the battlefield.”
In relevant remarks earlier on Saturday, Iraqi Federal Police Commander Major General Raed Shaker Judat announced that several more ISIL terrorists, including four senior commanders, have been killed in fierce clashes with the country’s joint military forces.
“At least 10 ISIL terrorists, including four notorious commanders, were killed in tough battle with the Iraqi government forces,” the Arabic-language media quoted General Judat as saying on Saturday.
He, meantime, said that the Iraqi forces continued their advances in the city of Mosul, adding, “Over 66 ISIL terrorists have been killed in the Iraqi Federal police’s military operations.”
General Judat also said that hundreds of families in Mosul city have been transferred to military camps from al-Entesar and Shahrzad districts of the city.
On Thursday, the Iraqi security forces began the second phase of the Mosul operation in a number of Eastern and Southeastern districts of Mosul city, following a major halt of the offensive for much of December.
Iraqi Federal police initiated the advance on the districts of Somar, Saha, Intisar, and the industrial area on the left bank of Mosul, General Yahya Rasul, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Joint Command said, Baghdad Post quoted security officials as saying.
Also, Abdul-Ghani Al-Asadi, commander of the Iraqi Counterterrorism Forces (ICTF) told Iraqi media that the fresh offensive begun at 7:00 am on Thursday.
He said his forces have entered the eastern district of al-Quds, and made “progress” in the early hours on Thursday morning.
A military statement for the Nineveh operation said that the Iraqi army, the federal police and the ICTF are taking part in a joint operation to “fully liberate the left bank of Mosul”.
An officer from the rapid response forces told Reuters news agency that they are pushing from the Southeastern district of Intisar.
“Our troops now are advancing. In the first five or 10 minutes they took 500 meters. Just now they are starting to shoot,” the rapid response officer said, an elite force under the command of the Iraqi interior ministry.
The commander of the Golden Division, Fazil Barwari, earlier told Rudaw that he expects to liberate the East side of the city by New Year ’s Eve.