East Mosul recapture ‘few days away’

Members of the Iraqi rapid response forces stand on the top of vehicle during a battle between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants in Wahda district of eastern Mosul, Iraq, January 8, 2017. (Reuters)

Iraqi forces will recapture east Mosul from the ISIS group within “a few days,” a senior officer said on Monday.

Baghdad’s forces have retaken a series of areas in eastern Mosul since launching an operation to recapture the city on October 17, but the west remains under ISIS control.

East Mosul will be retaken within “a few days, God willing,” Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a top commander in Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP.

Assadi’s remarks came a day after officials said Iraqi forces in Mosul had reached the eastern side of a bridge across the Tigris River, which divides the city, for the first time during the operation.

Assadi said that “the bridge fell tactically,” though Iraqi forces were still some 150 meters away.

The general also said that “our units... are close to encircling Mosul University,” whose sprawling campus is located east of the Tigris.

Iraqi forces have regained much of the territory they lost, and Mosul is now the country’s last city in which the militants hold significant ground.

The advance will eventually enable Iraqi forces to begin assaults on the city’s west, all of which ISIS still holds.

The elite counter-terrorism service (CTS) had taken full control of the Baladiyat district and encircled neighbouring Sukkar, spokesman, Sabah al-Numan told Reuters.

The advance also consolidated Iraqi forces’ control of several districts close to the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, east of the river.

Recapture of Mosul after more than two years of ISIS rule would probably spell the end of its self-declared caliphate, which spans areas of Iraq and Syria.

(Agencies)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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