Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces recaptured a new district in western Mosul from Islamic State militants on Sunday as operations continue to clear that region from the extremist group.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, quoting Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Nineveh operations, said the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces took over al-Matahen district, raising Iraqi flags above its buildings.
The district was one of several areas where Iraqi forces engaged in intense fighting with IS over the past few days. CTF forces invaded the district on Saturday under an aerial cover from Iraqi air forces which bombarded the surrounding areas.
Iraqi government forces, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led coalition, recaptured eastern Mosul from IS in January after three months of fighting, and launched another offensive mid February to retake the western region.
Troops have been struggling to fully retake central Mosul’s Old City, a densely-populated and structured area which military generals view as vital for victory over IS in that region.
Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jubouri, head of the Joint Operations Command’s Mosul operations, said in statements on Wednesday that his troops became in control over 90 percent of the “western axis”, and continue to advance in central Mosul.