Iraqi forces liberate largest neighborhood in western Mosul
Iraqi security forces have pushed deeper into western Mosul, liberating the largest neighborhood in the area in a major blow to the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, the commander of ‘We Are Coming, Nineveh Operations,’ said Iraqi forces have completely recaptured the neighborhood of al-Tanak from Daesh on Tuesday, al-Sumaria news website reported.
He added that Iraqi forces inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists during the operation.
To the east of Tanak, Iraqi armed forces have been facing tough resistance from Daesh in Mosul’s Old City, an area stretching along the Tigris River, which divides Mosul into its eastern and western half.
The Old City’s narrow alleys and densely-populated areas have made it hard for Iraqi troops to move forward.
The development comes a day after Iraq’s Joint Operations Command had said Iraqi forces have so far liberated 70 percent of western Mosul from the control of Daesh terrorists.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, said its fighters managed to liberate the village of Tal Helalah, north of the al-Hatra city in Nineveh Province, of which Mosul is the capital.
Iraqi forces have launched an operation from three directions to liberate Hatra. During the battles, the volunteer fighters found a cache of weapons and equipment north of the city, which lies to the south of Mosul.
Hatra is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site of the same name that was destroyed by Daesh.
In another development, Iraq’s Federal Police Forces said on Tuesday that some 260,000 civilians have been freed from the clutches of Daesh in the Old City.
Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said Daesh was using the civilians as human shields there.
Iraqi army soldiers and pro-government popular fighters have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the operation to retake Mosul.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.