Updated: Iraqi forces recapture 3 neighborhoods in eastern Mosul

A military vehicle of Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) is seen in the streets of Qadisiyah neighborhood, north of Mosul, Iraq, December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Nineveh ( Iraqi joint forces recaptured on Tuesday three more neighborhoods in eastern Mosul as operations to retake that region from Islamic State militants approach an end.

Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Join Operations Command’s operations in Nineveh, said in a statement that army forces recaptured Bab al-Shams, Ninawa al-Sharqiya and Souq al-Aghnam (cattle market) area in eastern Mosul.

Meanwhile, All Iraq News website quoted Sami al-Aredi, a senior commander of the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces, as saying that the force invaded al-Mohandessin district, expecting to take full control of it within hours.

Iraqi forces, backed by US-led advisers and fighter jets, as well as popular militias, launched operations to retake Mosul last October. The conflict has forced nearly 178.000 civilians to flee homes.

Iraqi generals said recently they became in control over 90 percent of the city’s eastern section and hope to move later to recapture the IS-held west. The forces recently recaptured IS’s most outstanding bastion in the east of the city, the Mosul University campus, and had reached the eastern bank of the Tigris River, which cuts the city into two halves. Only a few districts remain in IS militants hold.

The victories come amid increasing reports of crumbling in the Islamic State ranks, with divisions, infighting and accusations of treason traded among militants.

Conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee homes in the city to refugee camps, but many of those are targeted by militants upon their escape.

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