Iraqi forces recapture Josaq district, kill IS emir en route to central Mosul

Iraqi security forces advance towards the western side of Mosul, Iraq February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

Nineveh ( Iraqi government forces regained control Monday over another district in western Mosul, killing a senior leader as it advances to the center of the city.

“The Federal Police’s Rapid Response forces have liberated the Josaq district, and have also taken control over the fourth bridge from the western side,” head of the Joint Operations Command’s operations in Nineveh, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, said in a statement.

Yarallah was referring to one of the five bridges linking eastern and western Mosul above the Tigris River. The bridges were partially destroyed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes during operations in eastern Mosul to hinder attempts by Islamic State fighters to escape to the west. Iraqi commanders said recently they were planning to erect a bridge across the river to allow military supplies into the west.

Also on Monday, a local source told Alsumaria News that the Islamic State’s designated “emir” of Dawasah district in central Mosul was killed along with three companions as they exchanged fire with security forces. Government troops have recaptured much of Dawasah since Sunday.

Federal Police chief, Shaker Jawdat, said 120 IS fighters were killed as forces advanced and became 250 meters away from Dawasah.

Earlier on Monday, the joint command said it had retaken al-Tayaran neighborhood, which extends close to the recently-recaptured Mosul Airport.

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