Tue May 16, 2017 01:44PM
Iraqi Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool speaks during a press conference in the capital Baghdad on May 16, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
Iraqi Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool speaks during a press conference in the capital Baghdad on May 16, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
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Iraqi government forces, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, have managed to establish control over nearly 90 percent of western Mosul as they are battling to drive Takfiri Daesh terrorists out of the country’s second largest city.

Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told a news conference in the capital Baghdad on Tuesday that Daesh was still in control of “10.5 percent of... the right bank” of the Tigris River.

He added, “We reassure everyone that... in a very short time, God willing, we will declare the liberation and clearing of western Mosul and raise the Iraqi flag over... [Mosul's] Old City.”

The Iraqi military spokesman noted that Iraqi soldiers and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Shaabi, had killed 16,467 Daesh members since the operation to liberate western Mosul began on October 17 last year.

Rasool went on to say that 679 car bombs, 11 militant command centers, 47 drones, and 76 bomb-making workshops were also destroyed during military operations in the western flank of Mosul.

Fighters from Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service advance in Mosul's western Rifaei neighborhood during the ongoing offensive against Takfiri Daesh terrorists on May 15, 2017.

He added that a total of 6,661 bombs and 217 explosives-rigged belts were defused as well.

Meanwhile, the JOC has ordered civilians in the Daesh-controlled areas of western Mosul to immediately stop using any vehicle to avoid being mistaken for militants.

“Iraqi military planes will strike any vehicle that moves on the streets of these districts from the evening of May 15 until their liberation. The decisive hour has approached,” a copy of the leaflet dropped over Mosul read.

Separately, Iraqi forces have found a mass grave of slain Takfiri Daesh terrorists at a liberated western Mosul district.

Members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service take position as they advance towards Mosul's western district of al-Oraibi on May 14, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the city from Daesh terrorists.

Colonel Mortada Hassan told Arabic-language Basnews news agency that members of the Counter Terrorism Service discovered the grave in the al-Haramat neighborhood on Monday.

Furthermore, Federal Police Forces Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said Iraqi rapid response forces have released six families, who had been locked up by Daesh terrorists for several days inside booby-trapped houses at western Mosul's 17 Tamuz district.

Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the Mosul operation.

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.