Iraq kills 35 Daesh militants in Kirkuk
Nearly three dozen members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed in an operation by the Iraqi air force in the beleaguered province of Kirkuk, Press TV reported.
Iraqi military aircraft on Thursday targeted a missile development plant belonging to Daesh in the district of al-Hawijah, northwest of the Kirkuk province, killing 35 members of the terrorist group, Arabic-language al-Sumeria news website reported.
The development came on the same day as the Iraqi army, backed by allied forces, launched a major offensive to retake the second largest city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, from Daesh.
Daesh seized control of Mosul in June 2014 in the earliest days of its assault. The city was home to some 2 million people before being taken over.
The Iraqi troops and forces from the Popular Mobilization Units began "the first phase of conquest operations" in Nineveh, said a statement from Iraq's joint operations command, which is coordinating the anti-Daesh battle by the Iraqi forces.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces managed to recapture several villages from the Daesh militants and raise the Iraqi flag in them as they advanced towards Mosul.
The Iraqi military statement named the recaptured villages as al-Nasr, Garmandi, Kudila and Khurburdan.
Also on Thursday, Iraqi forces liberated two districts from Daesh militants in the south of the city of Hit in Anbar Province.
Iraqi forces have scored important recent gains against Daesh. Last month, they retook Ramadi, capital of Anbar Province.