Iraqi Shia militia recapture villages in west Mosul

Baghdad, Feb 25 (IANS) Iraqi Shia militias on Saturday recaptured four villages from the Islamic State (IS) terror group and killed 35 of its members in western Mosul.

The Popular Mobilisation militias said in a statement that the liberated villages were Tel al-Zalat, Umm al-Masayid, al-Zaytoun and al-Aziziya, Efe news reported.

IS casualties included three snipers and seven suicide bombers, according to the statement.

The militias also destroyed seven car bombs and seized equipment and several weapons from IS fighters, who fled the area.

The Shia forces added that IS combatants started their retreat due to a lack of reinforcements.

On February 19, Iraqi forces, including the Popular Mobilisation militias, launched an offensive to regain the western part of Mosul from IS combatants.

The eastern half of the city which has been an IS stronghold since 2014, was liberated in January.