Iraq forces gain more ground in eastern Mosul
Iraqi forces have managed to liberate another neighborhood from the grip of Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the eastern part of Mosul, as they continue mop-up operations in the already recaptured areas of the strategic city.
The Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV reported the recapture of Wahdah district, located on the left bank of the Tigris River, on Wednesday.
The report further said that the Iraqi forces had wrested control over the road linking Mosul to the city of Kirkuk.
Separately, unidentified security sources said an elite Iraqi Interior Ministry unit had entered the recently liberated Mithaq district and was clearing the area.
This is while clashes continued between the Iraqi forces and Daesh militants in and around Mosul with plumes of smoke and shelling visible in the distance from Mithaq.
The Takfiri elements were said to have concealed car bombs in the area and made underground tunnels and surface-level passageways.
An unnamed Mithaq resident said he was “very afraid,” adding, “A Daesh anti-aircraft weapon was positioned close to our house…. We could see a small number of Daesh fighters in the street carrying light and medium weapons. They were hit by planes.”
Most of those fleeing Mosul were reported to be from the city’s eastern neighborhoods while residents of the militant-held west were increasingly attempting to escape.
“Finally we have been freed,” another Mithaq resident said.
Meanwhile the Daesh-affiliated Amaq news agency released footage showing clashes in the Intisar district of eastern Mosul.
UN: Over 125,000 Iraqis displaced
In another development on Wednesday, the United Nations said that 125,568 Iraqis had been displaced since the start of the Mosul liberation operation.
“Following the intensification of military operations in Mosul city on 29 December, the rate of displacement… has increased markedly, with over 9,000 people having fled the city in the space of four days,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Iraqi army troops and allied fighters have been conducting a major offensive since last October to liberate Mosul that fell to Daesh in 2014. They launched the second phase of the operation on December 29, 2016.
OCHA further noted that about 14,000 of the displaced Iraqis had already returned to their homes in the recaptured areas.
Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi, a top commander in Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), announced last week that over 60 percent of eastern Mosul had been recaptured from terrorists.
Iraqi police down 3 Daesh drones
Meanwhile, Iraq’s al-Forat news agency reported that three Daesh drones were shot down by federal police forces in Mosul.
Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said the armed drones were destroyed as they were attacking Iraqi forces.