Iraqi forces preparing advance on south Mosul
Iraqi security forces are preparing to advance toward Mosul airport on the city's southern edge to increase pressure on Islamic State militants fighting troops who breached their eastern defenses, officers said, Reuters reported.
The rapid response forces, part of a coalition seeking to crush them in the largest city under their control in Iraq or Syria, took the town of Hammam al-Alil, just over 15 km (10 miles) south of Mosul, on Monday.
Officers say they plan to resume their advance north, up the western bank of the Tigris River towards the city of 1.5 million people who have lived under the ultra-hardline Sunni Islamists for more than two years.
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.