Iraqi government forces achieved the most remarkable victory over Islamic State in the country, declaring the recapture of the eastern section of the city of Mosul, like reported by iraqinews.com.
A statement by the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces, which spearheaded the battles against the extremist group in Mosul since October, said the eastern side of Mosul was officially liberated, adding that 3300 militants were killed since the launch of operations.
The development represents a major impetus for the forces which hope to move onwards to the west, where Islamic State militants still dominate. The recapture of Mosul would represent the strongest blow to IS influence in the region.
Shortly before the announcement, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, who leads the Joint Operations Command battles in Nineveh, said in a statement the forces recaptured the Athariya (archaeological) zone, Tel Nerkal and al-Qadiya in the northeast.
Also in the northeast, Anadolu Agency, quoting a senior commander in the counter-terrorism troops, Fallah al-Abbassi, said 10 civilians were killed, including women and children, and 13 others were wounded when IS militants shelled districts recently recaptured by security forces.
Conflict in Mosul forced at least 178.000 people to flee to refugee camps, and the United Nations had voiced fears that battles could force at least one million out of homes.