Iraqi Forces Advance against ISIL during Mosul Night Raid
Iraqi army and elite forces advanced against militants of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) terrorist group in eastern Mosul in their first night-time raid in the city, a spokesman said on Friday.
Counter-terrorism service (CTS) forces pushed across a tributary of the Tigris river shortly after midnight and drove back ISIL militiamen in the Muthanna district, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan said.
“We used special equipment and had the element of surprise – the enemy did not expect us to mount a night offensive because all previous offensives were during the day,” he said.
US coalition warplanes carried out 19 air strikes in support of the assault, which killed dozens of militants, he said.
A second phase of the nearly 12-week campaign to drive ISIL out of its last major city stronghold in Iraq began last Thursday. The Mosul offensive is the biggest in Iraq since the US-led invasion to the country in 2003.
A 100,000-strong alliance of government and Kurdish security forces and mainly Hashd Shaabi units quickly overran ISIL in villages and towns surrounding the city.
The terrorists, who are deploying snipers and suicide car bombers and using civilians as human shields, are still in control of Mosul west of the Tigris.