Iraqi Forces Secure Major District, Parts Of Tigris River From Islamic State

Iraqi Forces Secure Major District, Parts Of Tigris River From Islamic State

 Iraqi forces pushed deeper into the western side of Islamic State (ISIS)-held Mosul on Saturday (May 13), driving the militants out of a major district, Nineveh Operations Command declared.

The commander of the Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, announced that Iraqi troops from 16th brigade had secured the district of Hawi al-Kanisah.

“[Iraqi forces] fully freed Hawi al-Kanisah area and gained control of the western and southern banks of the Tigris River in western Mosul,” he said.

ISIS militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, when they swept across the country's north in the summer of 2014. Iraqi forces have gradually clawed back territory since then, and launched a massive operation to retake Mosul in October last year.

The eastern half of Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities, is now completely under the control of Iraqi security forces. But the push against ISIS in western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces fighting in a warren of small streets in the old part of the city.

The Iraqi army and police announced on Friday (May 12) the securing of another neighborhood and a hospital in the western side of Mosul.

Iraqi army press said Commander Abdulla al-Amir Rashid Yarrala confirmed the liberation from ISIS of the neighborhood of First Islah Zraa in western Mosul.

Iraqi Federal Police also announced the liberation of Nuri Hospital in the western side of the city.

“The official head of ISIS [in Mosul] and the head of ISIS finance as well as his deputy were killed in our advance,” federal police said, adding three ISIS suicide bombers were also killed.

Lt. Gen. Othman al-Ghanimi said during a press conference on Thursday (May 11) the Iraqi army would announce victory over ISIS militants in the western side of Mosul before Ramadan, which begins near the end of May.