Iraq’s forces resumed their advance on Daesh’s [ISIS/ISIL] bastion of Mosul Monday, aiming to position themselves a few hundred meters from the city’s eastern limits.
A senior officer with the elite Counter-Terrorism Service [CTS] told AFP reporters outside the recently retaken town of Bartalla that only two villages remained on the road to Mosul. “The target is to retake Bazwaya and Gogjali, the last two villages before Mosul,” a lieutenant colonel said.
“If we manage that, we’ll only be a few hundred meters [yards] from Mosul,” he added. As an aircraft struck a suspected Daesh mortar position in the distance, the officer’s convoy of Humvees sprayed gunfire across the arid plain toward an industrial area still held by the group’s terrorists.
The Joint Operations Command coordinating Iraq’s war on the Takfiri group said CTS and army forces launched a drive “to advance toward the left bank of the city of Mosul from three axes.” Mosul is split down the middle by the Tigris River. Iraqis refer to the eastern half of the city as the left bank and the western side as the right bank.
A huge offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second city and Daesh’s last major stronghold in the country, began exactly two weeks ago. The tens of thousands of security personnel involved in Iraq’s biggest military operation in years were moving mostly on three main fronts: north, east and south. The initial shaping phase of the operation, during which dozens of villages and several towns have already been recaptured from Daesh, is still under way.
Iraq’s forces are then expected to besiege Mosul in order to open safe corridors for the million-plus civilians still living there.
Source: News Agencies