Iraqi forces in control of 80% of eastern Mosul: Special forces spokesman
Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) says government forces have liberated at least 80 percent of eastern Mosul from the grip of Takfiri Daesh militants as part of a major anti-terror operation to retake the whole city.
“I think you can say that we have retaken 80 to 85 percent” of the eastern side of Mosul, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Noman said on Wednesday.
Over the past few days, the Iraqi forces have made major gains on the ground in Mosul, recaptured several districts and reached the Tigris River that divides the city in half.
Separately on Wednesday, unidentified military officials confirmed that the Iraqi forces had advanced in eastern Mosul and fought Takfiri elements in areas close to the Tigris River.
The Nineveh Operations Command announced that the Iraqi national flag had been hoisted over buildings in Mosul’s northeastern Sadeeq district.
Earlier reports said there were clashes in Sadeeq and the nearby neighborhood of Hadba.
Retaking the two areas and other neighboring districts will allow the CTS forces to advance further towards the Tigris River.
Meanwhile, a top commander of Iraq’s Joint Military Operation said the Mosul battle could be complete in three months or less, adding, however, that it was difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long the offensive would take due to “many variables.”
In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday evening, Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati also described the Mosul combat as “guerrilla warfare.”
Shaghati further noted that the number of Daesh counterattacks, particularly car bombings, had decreased compared to October, when the Mosul operation began.
A 100,000-strong force of Iraqi army troops and allied fighters are participating in the offensive, the second phase of which began last month.
Defeating Daesh in Mosul would deal a crushing blow to the Takfiri outfit that launched its campaign of terror in northern and western Iraq in 2014.