Iraqi forces recapture 11 villages around Mosul
The Iraqi security forces on Sunday retook control of 11 villages from the Islamic State (IS) group around the group's stronghold of Mosul, as major anti-IS offensive continued to seize more ground around the city, a security source said, Xinhua reported.
The paramilitary units of Hashd Shaabi continued their operation launched on Saturday to advance in the vast rugged land in southwest of Mosul toward the town of Tal-Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, a statement by the Hashd Shaabi's media office said.
The paramilitary units backed by the Iraqi aircraft managed during the day to free eight villages located in southwest of Mosul after sporadic clashes with IS militants, according to the statement.
The operation to regain control over Mosul began in the morning of Oct. 17. In addition to Iraq’s government forces, local Peshmerga paramilitaries participate in the operation.
The operation is supported by international anti-terrorism coalition air force.
Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq with a population of 1.3 million people, has been under the IS control for more than two years.
Mosul was surrendered almost without a fight during the extremists’ attack in June 2014.
The “Islamic State” considers Mosul as its main stronghold in Iraq.