Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The number of Islamic State (ISIS) extremists killed since Iraqi security launched operations to retake the city of Mosul in October has reached 4000, a senior commander said.
This is the number of militants killed in battles to liberate Iraq’s second largest city until Tuesday, according to Najm al-Jubouri, commander of Mosul operations, who spoke in a press statement on Wednesday.
Out of that number, 2100 were killed in airstrikes carried out by US-led aircraft, Jobouri added, saying he believed the remaining numbers are probably few, especially with local members escaping battles and foreign fighters saved for future battles in central Mosul.
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 some 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, saying the region had been isolated from Syria, depriving the group of supplies from Syria.
Earlier on Thursday, Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service declared it had has so far recaptured 40 out of 56 districts in eastern Mosul from Islamic State militants.
On Wednesday, commander of the US-led coalition against ISIS, Stephen Townsend, said coalition forces killed 180 outstanding ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria since early October.