40 IS fighters killed, strategic regions liberated in western Mosul: Federal Police

A sniper of the Iraqi Federal Police takes his position at a destroyed builiding near Islamic State fighters’ positions at Bab al Jadid district in the old city of Mosul, Iraq, March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Mosul ( Security troops were able to liberate strategic areas in western Mosul, a source from Federal Police said on Monday.

“Security forces launched fierce battles against the Islamic State fighters in western Mosul,” Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat, Commander of Federal Police service, told Bas News. “The clashes left 40 fighters, including snipers and suicide bombers, killed so far.”

Security services were able to free several regions including al-Nahrawan and western Yarmouk following fierce clashes with the IS militants, he added. “Battles are still ongoing at al-Matahen and al-Aghawat.”

Eastern Mosul was recaptured from IS in January, after a US-backed offensive was launched in October. A new offensive started in February to retake the west. The government troops have recently pushed deeper into the Old City, a densely-populated and -structured area which military officials view as central to the desired victory over IS militants

Battles in the west are believed to be much more difficult due to the density of residential areas and the high number of civilians.

Retaking Mosul could ruin the Islamic State’s self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” declared in 2014 when the group occupied several parts of the country.

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