Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Make Rapid Progress In Mosul Operation

Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Make Rapid Progress In Mosul Operation

Iraqi and Coalition forces have achieved faster progress than expected in their operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS), with dozens of villages recaptured in the past three days.

Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, said on Wednesday (October 19) that their forces have retaken dozens of villages and hundreds of kilometers of land from ISIS, liberating more than 100 families.

On the southern front line, Iraqi and Coalition forces have recaptured more than 350 square kilometers of land, with the ninth armored battalion of the Iraqi government forces arriving at a location within 40 kilometers of Mosul.

Meanwhile, Kurdish soldiers on the eastern front line have advanced to only a dozen kilometers outside Mosul, retaking nine villages and about 200 square kilometers of land.

Iraqi and Coalition forces outnumber the ISIS militants more than 10 to one and they have faced little direct resistance so far. However, the militants have carried out frequent suicide bomb attacks as well as ambushes taking advantage of tunnels.

General Talib Shaghati, the commander of the Joint Operations Command, said all the military operations are progressing smoothly and the liberation of Mosul could happen within days.

"Our forces are pushing forward from different directions to retake the city. All of us are following the steps strictly as scheduled. All the forces are moving towards Mosul. Currently, the operation is going smoothly. Sometimes, the speed of progress is even faster than expected. We will be able to announce the news of having retaken Mosul soon," he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Monday the beginning of the operation to clear the northern city of Mosul of ISIS militants.

Reports showed that Iraqi government forces were ahead of schedule after the first day of the U.S.-backed offensive.