Civilians leave the city to escape from clashes during a battle with Islamic State militants, in al-Zirai district in Mosul, Iraq, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces recaptured on Thursday the Presidential Palaces area in the northern Mosul town of Tel Kaif, commanders said.
Operation We Are Coming, Nineveh’s command said the forces recaptured the area besides a municipality building, a courtroom building and the Oberoi Nineveh Hotel in the town of Tel Kaif, one of a few remaining areas in eastern Mosul left to announce a full retaking of that area.
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 the Ghabat and Presidential Palaces area besides “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.
IS militants have reportedly began retreating to their western Mosul strongholds.