Abdul-Ghani Asadi, the commander of the Iraqi army’s anti-terrorism contingent, made the announcement on Monday.
Iraqi forces have, meanwhile, liberated more than 70 percent of the territory lying to the south of the ISIS-held northern city of Mosul, and are weeding out explosives planted by the terrorist group on their way to the city proper.
On Tuesday, the joint military and volunteer forces liberated three more villages, located to the city’s south, from ISIS, the country’s war news media reported, with Tweeter pictures showing children rejoicing after the areas’ liberation.
Footage also showed a military Abrams tank ripping through a bomb-laced ISIS vehicle, which had been left at one entrance to the city to block the forces’ advance.
Overwhelmed by casualties, the Takfiris threw 40 bedridden patients, most of them elderly, out of the Mosul General Hospital, filling its aisles and emergency ward with their own wounded members, Iraq’s al-Sumaria TV network reported.
Locals, meanwhile, said the bodies of most of the victims of the city’s clashes had been taken to the al-Qabat district, situated in the city’s east.
On Monday, Iraqi forces were engaged in a push toward the center of the strategically-important al-Hamdaniya district in the northeast of Iraq’s Nineveh Province, of which Mosul is the capital, as part of the larger-scale push to retake Mosul.
Large numbers of the terrorists are, meanwhile, reported to have fled Mosul as the group is said to have lost the power to confront the advancing Iraqi forces.
The Takfiri terror group has declared the city its so-called headquarters in Iraq. The city has been under ISIS control since 2014, when the terror outfit started ravaging the country.