63 targets controlled, 20 IS leaders killed since February in western Mosul: Federal Police

Federal police members carry their weapons during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

Mosul ( Federal Police have declared controlling 63 targets and killed 20 Islamic State militants since operations started in February to liberate the western side of Mosul.

“Since beginning of operations in western Mosul, troops were able to evacuate 3,865 families and 260,000 civilians from the hot spots. 3,630 families composed of 22,193 members were returned back to their houses at the liberated regions. 50,000 food baskets were offered to the displaced,” Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, Federal Police chief, said in a statement on Saturday.

“More than 20 IS leaders were killed, while 63 targets were retaken. 274 square kilometers were freed. 350 booby-trapped vehicles were destroyed,” he added.

Regarding recent developments in the west of Mosul, Jawdat said, “our troops destroyed a booby-trapped container that was placed by IS to target the troops on al-Thawra district.”

The troops, according to the statement, “invaded the Old City through four axis; from Bab al-Toub from the [Tigris] River side, Bab al-Jadid from Baghdad garage, in Qadhib al-Ban in the west and in al-Thawra district toward al-Zanjili district.”

In related news, informed sources in Baghdad said around 8,000 personnel of Iraqi troops were killed since the operations to liberate Mosul was launched six months ago.

The Kuwaiti newspaper of Alaan quoted sources as saying that the total number of victims among Iraqi military and security personnel reached 7,970 since beginning of the offensive in October until last week, the sources added.

The total figure excludes victims of the paramilitary forces of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Public Mobilization Units), which took part in the battles since late October.

Federal Police troops has the biggest share of losses, the sources said. The army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) also suffered huge losses.

Eastern Mosul was recaptured in January after three months of battles between Iraqi troops, backed by U.S.-led coalition, against IS. A new offensive was launched in February to retake the west.

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