| SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq
SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq U.S.-backed Iraqi safety forces superior deeper into the western half of Mosul on Friday one day after launching attacks on quite a few fronts towards Islamic State’s last most important stronghold in the metropolis.
Troops had recaptured Mosul airport on Thursday, an critical prize in the battle to conclusion the jihadists’ handle of territory in Iraq.
Counter-terrorism forces managed on Friday to totally handle the Ghozlani military base, pushing deeper towards the southwestern districts of Tal al-Rumman and al-Mamoun, a military spokesman mentioned.
Federal police and an elite Interior Ministry device known as Swift Response are clearing the airport of roadside bombs and booby traps still left by Islamic State militants who retreated from their positions there on Thursday.
Iraqi authorities forces prepare to restore the airport and use it as a base from which to travel the militants from Mosul’s western districts, exactly where about 750,000 people today are considered to be trapped.
Government forces pushed the insurgents out of eastern Mosul last thirty day period but the IS nevertheless retains the western sector of the metropolis, divided by the Tigris river.
“Our forces are preventing Daesh terrorists in Tal al-Rumman and al-Mamoun. We will get rid of them soon and choose handle more than the two districts,” Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) spokesman Sabah al-Numan mentioned.
Islamic State militants utilised suicide auto bomb attacks and drones carrying little bombs to disrupt the CTS models from additional advancing.
“There is a resistance there. The drones are specifically aggravating now,” Big General Sami al-Aridi, a senior CTS commander, informed Reuters in the southwestern entrance of Mosul.
Swift response forces are striving to advance over and above the airport to breach Islamic State defenses all over districts on the southern edge of Mosul.
“We are now preventing Daesh at the southern edge of the metropolis. We are striving to breach trenches and significant berm they utilised as defensive line,” Colonel Falah al-Wabdan informed Reuters.
Shedding Mosul could spell the conclusion of the Iraqi segment of the militants’ self-styled caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi commanders be expecting the battle in western Mosul to be extra tough than the east, even so, in aspect due to the fact tanks and armored automobiles cannot pass through slender alleyways that crisscross the city’s historic western districts.
(Reporting by Stephen Kalin and Isabel Coles, Creating by Ahmed Rasheed Modifying by Angus MacSwan)