IRAQI FORCES ADVANCE CLOSER TO MOSUL CITY CENTRE, AFTER RECAPTURING NEW AREAS

| January 5, 2017

MOSUL, Iraq, Iraqi security forces, advanced further to the city centre of Mosul, after they retook control of a new neighbourhood from the militants, as part of the troops push into the eastern part of the city, the Iraqi military said.

In south-eastern part of the city, the federal police and soldiers of the 9th Armoured Division, fought fierce clashes with the militants and recaptured the Wahda neighbourhood, bringing the troops closer to the centre of the eastern side of Mosul, a statement by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, said.

The troops continued their slow progress in the nearby neighbourhoods of al-Salam, Palestine, al-Shaimaa, Domiez and Sumer, amid heavy clashes with the extremist militants, after they completely recaptured the neighbourhood of al-Mithaq on Tuesday.

During the day, the militants carried out counter-attacks against the troops in south-eastern Mosul, but the troops repelled their attacks, leaving some 40 militants killed and destroying seven booby-trapped vehicles, according to the statement.

In the northern front, the soldiers of the army's 16th Division, backed by Iraqi and international aircraft, clashed with the extremist militants, leaving 10 militants killed and destroying two car bombs, the statement said.

In the eastern front, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), cleared the earlier recaptured areas in Mosul and fought sporadic clashes, which resulted in the killing of four militants, the statement added.

On Tuesday, the elite CTS forces recaptured the vast industrial area and raised the Iraqi flag on its buildings, as well as, the buildings of the nearby flour mill, silo and commercial complex, after fierce clashes with the militants.

The battles in Mosul came, as the elite CTS forces, army troops and federal police, launched on Dec 29, the second phase of a major offensive to free Mosul.

The troops made their new push into several neighbourhoods in the eastern side of Mosul, locally known as the left bank of the Tigris, which bisects the city.

For the seventh day of a new push to free the remaining neighbourhoods of the eastern bank of the city, the troops are facing stiff resistance by the extremist militants.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said in a recent report that, the military operations in Mosul have pushed some 125,568 civilians to flee their homes in the city and its adjacent districts, since the beginning of military offensive in Oct, to reclaim the Daesh largest stronghold in Iraq.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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