Iraqi forces free more districts in eastern Mosul

Baghdad, Nov 4 (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Friday recaptured six districts in the eastern part of Mosul after fierce clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants, a security source said.

Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) personnel and the Iraqi army made significant progress on Friday morning on the eastern side of Mosul, and managed to seize the districts of Aden, Samah, Karkukli, al-Khadraa, al-Ikhaa and al-Quds, the source told Xinhua news agency.

The troops raised the Iraqi flag on the main buildings of the districts, while fierce battles continued in the adjacent Karamah district.

The latest push into the city came after more than two weeks of a massive offensive to dislodge the IS militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.

On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

Since then, the Iraqi security forces have inched to the eastern fringes of Mosul and made progress on other routes around the city, preparing for a major battle to drive out the IS terrorists.

Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling the militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.