Iraqi forces recapture western Mosul district, advance in others

Military vehicles of federal police are seen during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani – RTS11N8V

Mosul ( Iraqi government forces on Thursday took over al-Thawra district in western Mosul, ending four days of intense encounters with Islamic State militants.

The announcement by the Joint Operations Command came hours after forces recaptured al-Thawra al-Oula, a first section of the neighborhood. The troops invaded the area on Friday.

The army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service also said its forces were advancing further at al-Tenek and al-Sihha districts.

Sihha district, west of Mosul.

Iraqi forces recaptured the eastern side of Mosul in January after three months of fighting with Islamic State, and sat on a new offensive in February to retake the western region. Commanders said earlier this month that the Islamic State was controlling only less than seven percent of Iraqi territory, and that only six districts were still witnessing IS presence.

Islamic State has lost many of its senior commanders since operations launched to retake the western side of Mosul. Officials from the U.S.-led coalition estimate the number of remaining militants in Mosul by less than 1000.

The conflict in Mosul has so far displaced more than half a million of the city’s population, according to the Iraqi government and the United Nations.

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