Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces recaptured 60 percent of the western side of Mosul since oeprations to clear the region from the Islamic State began in February, according to the commander of the army’s Counter-Terrorism Force.
Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi said in statements quoted by Iraqi news websites on Tuesday that districts like Wadi Hajar, al-Sumoud, al-Maamoun, Tal al-Rayyan, al-Tayaran and Josaq had all seen ferocious fighting as they served as Islamic State’s primary defense lines, but have now become under government troops control.
Assadi’s announcement came a few hours after the Joint Operations Command said its forces recaptured a major government complex as well as the Turkish consulate building in western Mosul from IS militants. The complex contains a courthouse, a main branch of the central bank and a police department besides other government agencies. Iraqi generals say the complex’s recapture could put the battle’s outcome in their favor. Troops had earlier retaken a vital bridge leading to the Old City, planning to use it as a channel for backup.
Iraqi troops took over eastern Mosul in January and launched a new offensive to take the western region in February. Iraqi security officials and others from the allied U.S.-led coalition predicted the city to be fully liberated within six months from the start of the campaign.