Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi President Fuad Masum congratulated the Iraqi nation on Wednesday for the recapture of the eastern side of the city of Mosul, the most outstanding Islamic State extremists’ stronghold in the country.
The president described the retaking of the last three districts in eastern Mosul, as announced by the Joint Operations Command and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday, as an “historic victory”, vowing that the western section will also be freed sooner. Praising the government forces for the achievement, he also lauded al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units), Kurdish Peshmerga troops and volunteer tribal fighters who had partaken in the fight.
Masum also praised the forces’ anxiousness to preserve civilians’ lives at the liberated areas.
Recapturing the eastern side of the Tigris River after at least 100 days of battles, Iraqi generals hope to invade the IS-held west soon, but a more difficult battle is expected there as the forces are required to heed the safety of 750.000 civilians who militants are widely speculated to use as human shields.
IS extremists have reportedly withdrawn from the eastern side to the west via the Tigris River, with human losses and divisions escalating within the group.
Battles in Mosul have displaced 189.000 civilians since operations launched in October, according to Iraqi government data. T