Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State members on Saturday blew up Mosul’s second biggest hotel in the city’s western section, while 12 militants were killed in security offensives in the northeast.
A security source was quoted by Mawazin News Agency as saying that the city’s second biggest, 236-room Mosul Hotel was blown up by militants, but did not explain the extent of the damage from the explosion. He said IS members filled the building with TNT barrels.
The city’s biggest hotel, Nineveh Oberoi, a 262-room facility, was blown up by the group in October, but was recaptured last week by security forces.
In the eastern section, where government joint forces are a few districts away from announcing a total recapture of that region, Walid Khalifa Majid, a Brigadier-General at the army’s 9th division, said troops killed 12 IS members in Alam Louk village. He said troops proceeded towards al-Qawsiyat area in the north, one of the last few remaining regions held by the extremist group in eastern Mosul.
On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the basic military plan for Mosul’s liberation had been completed “in most combat axes” with the recapture of central Mosul, adding that operations continue to liberate “a few other regions” in the north of the city.
Commanders from the Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces said in a press conference on the same day they had retaken all districts assigned to them in eastern Mosul, killing 3300 militants since operations launched in October 2016.
After getting finished with eastern Mosul, Iraqi generals plan to advance to the western region of the city beyond the Tigris River, where Islamic State still predominates a majority of territory.
The campaign to retake Mosul has entered its third month, with Iraqi government forces backed by U.S.-led international coalition fighter jets as well as popular militias.