Iraq – Conflict – Mosul

VIDEO: Iraqi Army Launches Operation to Retake Second City Mosul from ISIS

Thu Mar 24, 2016 14:18:09

Iraqi troops and militia launched a long-awaited operation on Thursday to recapture second city Mosul from terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) group who have held it since June 2014, the military said.

The army and the Popular Mobilization paramilitary force “have begun the first phase of conquest operations” in Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, the joint operations command said in a statement.

Several districts have already been retaken and the advance is continuing, the statement added.

The joint operations command has representatives from the US-led coalition that has provided air support, training and military advisers for the Iraqi army.

Peshmerga fighters of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region have also been heavily involved in the campaign against ISIS in northern Iraq.

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers deployed to the Kurdish region in February in readiness for the assault on Mosul, setting up base in the Arbil province town of Makhmur, around 70 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Mosul.

“Iraq forces in Makhmur have begun their advance towards Al-Qiyyara to the south of Mosul,” the Peshmerga deputy commander for the sector, Araz Mirkhan, told AFP.

“The advance has allowed us to liberate four or five villages from the Daesh terrorists,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS, AFP reported.

S/SH 11

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