Iraqi forces take over 2 western Mosul districts, storm 2 others

A government building is pictured during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Nineveh ( Iraqi government forces recaptured two districts in western Mosul close to the Old City from Islamic State militants on Tuesday, and also stormed two others, the security command said.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, field commander of the Joint Operations Command, said in a statement that the Federal Police and Rapid Response forces took over the districts of Dindan and Dawasah, while the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces stormed al-Shohadaa and Muallemin.

The announcement came shortly after the Joint Operations Command said Tuesday its forces recaptured a major government complex as well as the Turkish consulate building in western Mosul from IS militants. The complex contains a courthouse, a main branch of the central bank and a police department besides other government agencies. Iraqi generals have said its recapture will put the battle’s outcome in their favor.

Iraqi troops took over eastern Mosul in January and launched a new offensive to take the western region in February. Iraqi security officials and others from the allied U.S.-led coalition predicted the city to be fully liberated within six months from the start of the campaign.

Retaking Mosul could ruin the Islamic State’s self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” declared in 2014 when the group occupied several parts of the country.

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