Iraqi security forces have uncovered a major chemical plant belonging to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the western part of Mosul, as government forces, backed by fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, are battling to drive the extremists out of the country’s second largest city.
Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said on Monday that they had found Daesh’s main chemical plant in the 17 Tamuz district of the city, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, English-language online newspaper Iraqi News reported.
He added that Iraqi security personnel had also defused chemical munitions and improvised explosive devices at the site.
Jawdat went on to say that 60 senior Daesh members, along with their families, had fled the neighborhood as Iraqi soldiers were advancing into the area.
The high-ranking Iraqi security official noted that police forces had also killed 173 Daesh terrorists during operations in the al-Oraibi and Rifa'i districts of western Mosul.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC), Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, said Daesh terrorists were now in control of only nine percent of the territories in western Mosul.
He added that army troops had invaded the northern flank of 17 Tamuz district, stressing that only small pockets of Takfiri terrorists were remaining in the area and they were short of foodstuff as well as munitions.
Additionally, the media bureau of Iraq's Badr Organization announced in a statement that the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, had evacuated 62 families from the northern villages of Qirwan region.
The statement added that the Daesh terrorists had been using the families as human shields to slow the progress of Iraqi government forces.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters also reclaimed control over Northern Khazaneh village and Karkash region south of Qirwan.
Separately, the commander of al-Jazeera Liberation Operations, Major General Qassim al-Mohamadi, said security forces and tribal fighters had killed four Daesh bombers in the western city of Hadithah, located about 240 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.