Iraqi forces have launched a major military operation to retake the western part of Mosul from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced.
“We announce the start of a new phase in the operation, we are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul,” Abadi said in a brief televised address, referring to the province of which Mosul is the capital, AFP quoted.
رئيس مجلس الوزراء القائد العام للقوات المسلحة الدكتور حيدر العبادي يعلن انطلاق عملية تحرير الجانب الايمن من الموصل. pic.twitter.com/jmDDsdWLjP
— PM Media Office (@IraqiPMO) February 19, 2017
“Our forces are beginning the liberation of the citizens from the terror of Daesh,” Abadi added.
— Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) February 19, 2017
After the fall of Iraq’s second largest city in June 2014, government forces, aided by US air power and Kurdish militia on the ground, have tried relentlessly to take the city back.
The latest operation to free the city from the jihadists began on October 17. After months of fighting, the coalition managed to secure the east bank of the city last month. The densely-populated west bank of Mosul is now the operation’s target. RT