Iraqi airstrikes destroy IS quarters, equipment in eastern Mosul

Iraqi Air Force. File photo.

Nineveh ( Iraqi fighter jets destroyed Islamic State warfare utilities in eastern Mosul on Tuesday as operations continue to retake the city from the extremist group.

Abdul-Amr Yarallah, commander of Operation We Are Coming Nineveh, said in a statement that airstrikes destroyed IS’s so-called hisbah (Islamic vigilantism) office on the road between eastern Mosul and Tal Afar town in the west. The strikes also destroyed booby-trapping workshops, arms storehouses, an IS-run oil station and booby-trapped cars in nearly five districts in the eastern section, according to the military official.

Earlier on Tuesday, army and police forces stormed three districts and claimed to have killed 50 IS militants.

The developments come as the government forces, backed by a US-led aerial cover, entered Thursday a second phase of operations that launched in October to retake Iraq’s second largest city which fell to IS in 2014.

Iraqi commanders said Sunday they recaptured 60 percent of the city’s eastern section. IS still maintains hideouts in the west close to its strongholds in Syria, but Iraqi generals and allied militia leaders say the group has become isolated from Syria and Iraq.

Security officials estimate the number of remaining IS combatants by 6000. But those are fighting against at least 100.000 government and militia soldiers.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Saturday the battle for Mosul was entering a “decisive” stage, and predicted in December that the operations could realize final victory within two months.

Liberating Mosul, IS last outstanding stronghold in Iraq, could deal a final fatal blow to group’s influence in the country.

The situation in the city forced nearly 150.000 civilians to flee to refugee camps, according to the government.

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UPDATED: Iraqi forces storm 3 districts in eastern Mosul, kill 50 militants

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