UPDATED: Iraqi forces take over more districts on new western Mosul front
Iraqi government forces recaptured Monday more districts on their new axis of operations against Islamic State militants in western Mosul, a senior commander said in statements.
Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen Shaker Jawdat, said in statements that his forces took over Shuqaq al-Haramat district, while moving forward at al-Haramat al-Thaniya, approaching Ektesadiyen and the major Islamic State stronghold district of 17 Tamuz (July 17th). Jawdat said 16 militants were killed and several combat equipment were destroyed during the offensives.
Earlier on Monday, Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saaid, a senior commander at the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said in statements that his forces moved towards the ?Sena’at Wadi Akab region, encircling areas on the outskirts of that region.
Saadi said fierce fighting was ongoing with IS militants, but predicted the group’s resistance to wane shortly.
The developments come as Iraqi forces opened last week a new front targeting the strategic, IS-held Old City from the northwestern direction, having struggled for weeks to invade the densely populated and narrowly structured area from its southern entrances.
Iraqi commanders have reported dozens of deaths among Islamic State militants and the recapture of large parts of districts falling next to the Old City from the northwest.
Earlier on Monday, a spokesperson of the Interior Ministry said ministry forces had killed 3320 IS members since the offensive to retake western Mosul was launched in February. Iraqi forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting.
Iraqi commanders say they currently control at least 70 percent of territory in the western side of Mosul.
Source: Iraqi News