Iraqi forces led by federal police units retook two villages south of Mosul as part of a fresh push on the city’s west bank Sunday, a top commander said.
Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah said in a statement that forces advancing toward Mosul airport retook Athbah and Al-Lazzagah, reviving a four-month-old offensive that was paused following the reconquest last month of the city’s east bank.
The southern front in the Mosul offensive had remained largely stagnant for weeks as the forces deployed there waited for the completion of operations on the city’s east bank.
The two villages and neighboring areas that federal police and the interior ministry’s elite Rapid Response forces retook on Sunday are the last before Mosul airport.
The airport and a nearby military base mark the southern approach to Mosul, on the east bank of the Tigris River that divides the city. Elite fighting units are expected to attempt a foray into the city’s western side in the coming days.