Army commander killed during battles in Mosul

Iraqi army forces in Mosul. File photo.

Mosul ( The Joint Operations Command has declared murder of an Iraqi army commander during battles taking place in Mosul, the Islamic State’s strongest stronghold in Iraq.

A statement by the command on Saturday mourned “Colonel Falah Hassan Salman, commander in the 91st brigade of the army, who was killed early on Saturday during the ‘We are Coming Nineveh’ operations.”

The statement did not mention the place or circumstances of the incidents.

The Joint Operations Command’s Mosul operations announced last week resumption of military operations in Central Mosul, after being suspended for few days, saying that its forces had recaptured 60% of western Mosul from Islamic State militants, as operations approach a third month to retake that region.

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.

Losing Mosul is believed to be the severest blow to the group’s self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” declared in 2014 when the group occupied several parts of the country.

Troops have been struggling to fully retake central Mosul’s Old City, a densely-populated and structured area which generals view as vital for victory over IS.

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