Iraqi forces hold all but one neighbourhood in east Mosul
Mosul // Iraqi forces on Sunday retook two more Mosul neighbourhoods from ISIL, the last central areas of the city on the Tigris River’s east bank not under their control.
The military said it had recaptured Al Milayeen neighbourhood and Al Binaa Al Jahiz area and raised the Iraqi flag there.
“These are the last neighbourhoods of the centre of the city [on] the left bank,” it said, referring to eastern Mosul.
Federal forces also took control of the road linking Mosul, Iraq’s second city, to Dohuk, a provincial capital in the west of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The latest progress effectively seals the Iraqi forces’ control over the east bank, with only the neighbourhood of Rashidiyah, on Mosul’s northern edge, left to retake.
Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi and top commanders in the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, which has spearheaded operations inside Mosul, had already declared the eastern side of the city liberated on Wednesday.
The joint operations command coordinating the battle against ISIL in Iraq had said then that a few more days would be needed to clear the last pockets of extremist militants in eastern Mosul.
Iraq’s top brass and its foreign allies are expected to confer in coming days on the strategy to adopt to conquer the west bank of Mosul, which is still under full ISIL control.
A huge offensive, Iraq’s largest military operation in years, was launched on October 17 to retake Mosul, the last major stronghold ISIL had in the Iraqi half of its self-proclaimed and now crumbling “caliphate”.
* Agence France-Presse
Updated: January 22, 2017 04:00 AM