Iraqi Forces Battle Isis For Control Of Village Southeast Of Mosul

Iraqi Forces Battle Isis For Control Of Village Southeast Of Mosul

 Iraqi army said they were advancing in the fight to retake Ganous village south of Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

Backed by tribal fighters, army troops engaged in heavy machine-gun clashes with militants holed up in the village of Ganous, near the town of Shirqat, about 70 km (45 miles) south of Mosul.

The forces have been fighting for the control of the village for almost a week now, but the militants have hit back with suicide car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, army and police officers said.

"We are in al-Sihel village and, God willing, the forces are advancing towards Ganous village, which is held by Daesh [ISIS]. The tank is trying to cut off the Daesh supply route and the forces will enter the village soon to liberate it," Iraqi army officer Mohammed Dere said.

Further north, the Iraqi army said on Saturday it took full control of two more districts of east Mosul, pushing back ISIS militants in a slow and hard-fought advance into the city whose 1 million residents face growing shortages of fuel, water and food.

A military statement said on Saturday elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) troops took over the neighborhoods of al-Murour and al-Qadisiya al-Oula, expanding their area of control in the east of the city.

The ministry of defense also released footage of air strikes they had carried out targeting IS hideouts in Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces.

Despite the reported advance, the army's progress in Mosul remains painstakingly slow, facing brutal counter attacks from the hugely outnumbered but well prepared and heavily armed jihadists who have controlled the city since mid-2014.