Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi joint security forces attacked on Sunday Islamic State locations at al-Wahda district in eastern Mosul, a special operations officer said.
Anadolu Agency quoted Brig. Gen. Taher al-Sammak, SWAT forces, as saying that a force from the 9th division, assisted by another from the army’s elite Counter Terrorism Service, carried out offensives on al-Wahda district, under an aerial cover from US-led coalition fighter jets.
He said progress remains slow, however, as IS militants continue to fiercely fight back relying on snipers and IEDs.
“The purpose behind that operation is to regain control over al-Salam hospital and move onwards to the district’s center,” he stated, referring to the strategic IS-held facility which Iraqi forces had to withdraw and where they lost many personnel under intense attacks from IS almost ten days ago.
Sammak pointed out that three soldiers were wounded in Sunday’s operations, but said the number of casualties among militants remains unknown.
Meanwhile, IS media agency Amaq reported that 4 Iraqi soldiers died in an attack by the group on security locations at the outskirts of al-Intissar district, also in eastern Mosul.
In western Mosul, al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops’ media service said Sunday that two IS fighters were killed in an attack on an al-Hashd location at Hammoud Abdulaziz village.
Ground operations almost halted over the past three days due to bad weather conditions. The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said Saturday there was no progress on the operational level except for combing of areas liberated from IS.
Iraqi government forces, backed by US-led fighter jets and popular militias, have been carrying out a major campaign since mid October to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the last IS stronghold in the country.
Iraqi generals have said they became in control over 40 districts out of 56 in the east, promising to totally liberate that region in the near future. IS remains in control over several areas in the west near the borders with Syria, but popular militias fighting on the government’s side say supply routes from Syria have become under their control.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Saturday IS insurgency cost his country losses worth US$35 billion.