Iraqi Forces Launch Operation East Of Mosul
Iraqi forces launched an offensive to regain the town of Bartella on Thursday (October 20) as operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Iraq continue.
Counter terrorism forces headed towards the town, east of Mosul, and formed a siege, cutting off militants who have occupied the area for over two years.
Forces began bombarding the town with howitzer and mortar fire at dawn and hit a group of villages held by the militants north and east of Mosul.
"Our forces advanced 5 km towards Bartella and we surrounded it," said Saadi Maan, the head of the elite unit.
A source from Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Forces confirmed the units had entered Bartella sub-district east of Mosul.
Farther north, Kurdish forces continued an advance from the Bashiqa, Nawaran and Telskuf ifronts, regaining control of two villages and a main road between Bashiqa and Nawaran.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.-led Coalition, have made quick progress in securing areas to the south and east of Mosul since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the highly-anticipated battle on Monday.