Police say recaptured 330 Km2 of western Mosul since start of operations

A military vehicle of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces is seen at the site of car bomb attack during a battle with Islamic State militants in Andalus neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Mosul ( Iraqi Federal Police said Wednesday they recaptured 330 square kilometers of western Mosul since security operations launched in February to retake the region from Islamic State militants.

The service’s chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in a statement that his forces took over 62 targets assigned in western Mosul since the start of the security offensive. The troops killed hundreds of militants and destroyed 286 booby-trapped vehicles belonging to the group.

Police forces evacuated 25.000 refugees from areas it had recaptured, Jawdat stated.

Iraqi forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting to retake the city that fell to Islamic State extremists in 2014.

Police and supporting forces said recently they became closer to the Old City’s Nuri al-Kabir mosque, where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria. They had earlier recaptured the city’s airport and biggest military base besides several other districts since the launch of the campaign. The army’s leadership said recently government troops became in control over 50 percent of the region.

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