A senior Iraqi commander says a number of new contingents have been sent to the east of the northern city of Mosul to bolster the military forces already deployed there.
Major General Najim al-Jabouri, the head of the Operations Command in Nineveh Province, of which Mosul is the capital, made the announcement on Saturday. The reinforcements comprise both Iraqi army units and officers with the country’s federal police, he said.
The operation to retake Mosul began on October 17. The Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh seized the city in 2014, when it overran territory in a large-scale offensive in the country and named Mosul its so-called headquarters.
Daesh has been setting off hundreds of car bombs, unleashing mortar barrages, deploying snipers, and using locals as human shields to slow the advance of the security forces trying to liberate the city.
The troops have made significant gains both on the southern and eastern fronts of Mosul but were forced back last week within hours of seizing the al-Salam hospital in the east, which Daesh had been using as a base. More than 20 servicemen died in a Daesh attack there.
Reports said on Friday that the troops based on the eastern flank of Mosul had nevertheless recaptured Tamim District and destroyed three sites used by the group to make car bombs and as many arms depots.
So far during their battle against the Daesh terrorists, the Iraqi military and its allies have forced them out of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar Province, Fallujah, another city in the province, and Tikrit in the north-central Salahuddin Province.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said Mosul would be back under government control by yearend. But the government operations for the liberation of the city have slowed down amid the presence of civilians there.