Iraqi security controls 44% of Nineveh as Mosul battles resume: spokesman

Iraqi army forces in Mosul.

Nineveh ( Iraqi army forces now control 44% of the province of Nineveh as battles continue to drive out Islamic State militants from the province’s city of Mosul, said a spokesperson of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.

The army’s elite Counter Terrorism Service now control 40 districts in the eastern section of Mosul, Yahia Rasoul said in statements on Saturday. He added that the army’s 9th division holds six neighborhoods in that region.

His comments come hours after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated in an Arab youth conference in Baghdad that government forces became in control over a third of Mosul.

Iraqi army forces and US coalition forces resumed late Friday a nine-week-old campaign against Islamic State locations in the north and south of the eastern section of Mosul after days of halt dictated by bad weather conditions, the need to refit and wait for reinforcements. Mosul is IS’s last stronghold in Iraq.

State TV quoted the operations commander, Abdul Amir Yarallah, on Saturday, as saying that four new districts, one of which hosts a police academy, were recaptured since Friday. He also added that Iraqi fighter jets destroyed two IS-held facilities in Tal Zalat in the west of the city, killing 23 militants.

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