40 out of 56 eastern Mosul districts liberated: army commander

Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi, commander of Iraq's anti-terrorism forces. Archival photo.
Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi, commander of Iraq’s anti-terrorism forces. Archival photo.

Nineveh ( Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service has so far recaptured 40 out of 56 districts in eastern Mosul from Islamic State militants, the force’s commander was quoted as saying on Thursday as forces struggle to reach the eastern shore of the Tigris River.

The force’s commander, Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, was quoted as saying that “the first phase of operations to liberate the eastern shore has been concluded with 40 districts out of 56 liberated.”

Iraqi government forces, backed by tribal militias and US-led air forces, have been leading a military campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS since mid October. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday during a visit to Mosul’s Hammam al-Alil that two thirds of Nineveh have been retaken from ISIS. Government forces are eyeing the eastern shore of the Tigris River, which cuts through Mosul, so as to consummate the liberation of the eastern region.

ISIS remains in control of several areas of the western section, which is adjacent to its strongholds in Syria, but Al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces are reporting daily advances towards liberating ISIS locations in that region.

Commanders from the US-led coalition have been quoted recently as saying that ISIS lost 75 percent of their fighters in Iraq and Syria.

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