Iraqi Forces Liberate 11 Villages on First Day of Mosul Battle against ISIS

Baghdad, – The Iraqi forces have become only 15 Km away from Mosul city from the east after the progress they had made on Sunday when they launched a fresh attack on ISIS as part of a campaign to capture Mosul.

A dozen villages had been taken from theISIS militants as Iraqi forces headed toward Gwer, the target of the operation, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Mosul. The forces were able to retake 11 strategic villages in total.

During their advance on the Khazir front, the troops destroyed two ISIS car bombs. The villages liberated are considered militarily strategic since ISIS militants used to benefit from the green areas to launch their attacks.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said Tuesday that the Iraqi forces are “ahead of schedule”, as they begin the second day of the battle to retake Mosul from the ISIS. But Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook warned it “could take some time” as it remained to be seen whether the ISIS would “stand and fight”. The ISIS seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, in June 2014.

The group’s leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi then chose Mosul as the place to announce the forming of a caliphate, so retaking the city would be “symbolic”, according to Cook.

Cook told reporters in Washington: “Early indications are that Iraqi forces have met their objectives so far, and that they are ahead of schedule for this first day”.

A coalition of 30,000 Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and tribal fighters began their advance on ISIS last major stronghold in the country after months of planning on Monday.

Source: Qatar News Agency