Army combs Mosul University after driving out Islamic State

Military vehicles of Iraqi security forces are seen during a battle with Islamic State militants, in al-Zuhoor neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Nineveh ( Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces continued on Sunday to comb Mosul University campus after they had driven Islamic State militants out on Saturday, a senior officer said.

Abdul-Wahab al-Saedi, a top commander of the force, said in statements on Sunday that the forces continue to comb the university’s buildings, and will move afterwards to invade other districts enlisted in the battles plan after finishing.

Mosul University was a major Islamic State stronghold in the eastern section of Mosul. Iraqi generals said, after the university was retaken, that government forces became in control of 90 percent of that area since U.S.-backed operations launched in October to free the city.

Islamic State militants still maintain strongholds in the west of the Tigris River, which halves the city. Iraqi forces managed a few days ago to reach the eastern bank for the first time since October.

Recapturing Mosul would represent a fatal blow to the extremist group’s existence in Iraq as the city was previously proclaimed the capital of IS’s self-styled ‘Islamic Caliphate”.

Conflict in Mosul has forced at least 173.000 civilians to flee homes to refugee camps.

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