iraq forces near tigris river in mosul
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Iraq forces near Tigris River in Mosul

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Arab Today, arab today Iraq forces near Tigris River in Mosul

Iraqi pro-government forces patrol in the eastern part of the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul
Bartalla - ArabToday

Iraqi forces battling Daesh in Mosul are approaching the Tigris River, which runs through the centre of the city, the spokesman for the Counter-Terrorism Service said Saturday.

Iraq launched a massive operation on October 17 to retake Mosul from the militants, who seized the city more than two and a half years ago, and its forces have recaptured a number of neighbourhoods on the east side of the river.

The smaller but more densely populated west side of Iraq’s second city remains completely under Daesh control.

Counter-Terrorism Service forces “are about 500 metres (yards) from the fourth bridge,” spokesman Sabah Al Noman said, referring to the southernmost bridge across the Tigris in Mosul.

In the early hours of Friday, CTS forces advanced using night-vision equipment in Al Muthannah and retook the district, Noman told reporters in the Bartalla area east of Mosul.

“This operation was precisely planned; in fact we have been working on it for almost a week,” he said, adding that it “surprised the enemy.”

The CTS and the Rapid Response Division are the two elite units leading the advance against Daesh in Mosul.

A commander said that Rapid Response forces had recaptured the Al Salam hospital, where troops were cut off and mauled by the militants early last month.

“Rapid Response forces... are in control of Al Salam Hospital and the medical college and Al Shifa Hospital,” Staff Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah said in a statement.

The 9th Armoured Division reached Al Salam Hospital in a rapid drive deep into Mosul in December, but quickly found itself surrounded by militants and needed support from special forces to withdraw.

Daesh overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since recaptured much of the territory they lost, and Mosul is now the country’s last major city in which the militants hold significant ground.

On Friday, Iraqi troops entered Mosul from the north for the first time on Friday, part of a new phase in the battle for the city that also saw elite forces bridge a river under cover of darkness in an unprecedented night raid.

Troops would soon “cut the head of the snake” and drive the terrorist from its largest urban stronghold, Prime Minister Haidar Al Abadi said on Friday.

The battle for Mosul is the biggest ground operation in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion. A victory by the 100,000-strong US-backed pro-government force would probably spell the end for Daesh’s self-styled caliphate that has ruled over millions of people in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

But the militants, who are thought to number several thousand in Mosul, continue to put up fierce resistance using suicide car bombs and snipers.

They carried out more attacks against security forces some 200 km south of Mosul on Friday, killing at least four soldiers, and are expected to pose a guerrilla threat to Iraq and Syria, and to plot attacks on the West, even if their so-called caliphate collapses.

source: GULF NEWS

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