Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces recaptured two villages in western Mosul on Wednesday, while clashing with Islamic State militants in a recently recaptured area.
Maj. Adnan Mostafa, from the army’s 9th division, was quoted by Bas News website saying the forces recaptured Bawabat al-Sham (Syria Gate) and al-Rihani, thus completing a siege around the town of Badush, preparing to invade it.
Iraqi forces killed tens of IS members and arrested 25 during battles at the two villages, according to Mostafa.
Hours earlier, Iraqi security commanders were quoted saying they had recaptured a nearby road linking the town of Tal Afar with Mosul effectively blocking the las exit available for militants from the city.
Meanwhile, Alsumaria News reported clashes between the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces and IS fighters at the residential Wadi Hajar area, which the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said Tuesday it recaptured from militants.
The Iraqi government recaptured eastern Mosul late January and launched a new phase of operations to clear the western region last month. The troops, backed by forces and advisers from a U.S.-backed coalition, has made remarkable gains since the start of operations, with Iraqi and coalition commanders reporting speedy collapses in IS defenses.
Iraqi and United Nations migration bodies say at least 16.000 civilians have been displaced since the start of the western Mosul onslaught, with 250.000 more threatened with displacement.