Iraqi forces recapture Yabessat, another district in western Mosul

Iraqi soldiers carry weapons during an operation against Islamic State militants in the neighbourhood of Intisar, eastern Mosul, Iraq, December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Nineveh ( Iraqi government forces recaptured Thursday al-Yabessat district, another area in western Mosul as operations proceed to clear the region from Islamic State militants.

The Joint Operations Command said Counter-Terrorism Forces took over the area and raised Iraqi flags above its buildings.

Bab al-Jadid neighborhood in the Old City, Mosul

Iraqi government troops recaptured eastern Mosul in January and launched another offensive in February to retake the west from IS militants.

Iraqi troops are currently working to retake central Mosul districts from IS militants, specifically eyeing the city’s grand mosque where the group’s self-styled “Caliphate” was declared in 2014.

Generals from the Iraqi command and the allied U.S.-led coalition have admitted that battles in the west were tougher, given the high population and the density of the region’s residential areas structure. The commanders had predicted the campaign in western Mosul to realize victory within six months from the start of operations. The have reiterated that IS’s combat power, though fierce, but continues to wane, with many leaders counted either dead or escaping.

Battles in the city have so far displaced at least 355.000 people, including 181.000 from the western region alone.

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