Iraqi forces recapture parts of areas in Mosul

Mosul, Nov 20 (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Saturday recaptured a town and two villages in south of the city of Mosul, while special forces fought heavy clashes with Islamic State (IS) terrorists as they pushed deeper into the eastern part of the city, a security source said.

The army’s 9th armoured Division continued their advance toward Mosul and managed to free the town of Khedhr al-Yas, which is the centre of Nimrud area in south of Mosul and nearby two villages of Qara-Shor and Kahriza, Xinhua quoted a statement from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) as saying.

Nimrud area includes the archeological site of Nimrud, located some 30 km south of Mosul and freed from IS terrorists a few days ago.

The ancient Assyrian ruin site of Nimrud, which was part of the IS militants’ campaign of destruction against heritage sites, was founded in the 13th century B.C. and became the capital of Assyrian empire.

In eastern Mosul, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) continued clashes with the IS terrorists to gain more ground in Mosul and managed during the day to recapture parts of the Muharibin and Mu’alimen districts, the JOC statement said.

The troops started later in the day a clearing operation in the freed areas to defuse dozens of booby-traps planted by the extremist militants, the JOC statement said.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on October 17 announced 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.