Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) An Iraqi army soldier and 18 militants were killed on Tuesday when Iraqi army forces fought off an attack by Islamic State combatants north of Mosul, a statement said.
The attack targeted army locations on Baawiza, and assailants used light guns and a booby-trapped car driven by a suicide fighter, according to Brigadier General Nizar Idris from the 16th division .
“Iraqi forces, backed directly by international coalition air forces, managed to thwart the attack,” said Idris. He said one soldier and 18 militants were killed in the attack, while three armored vehicles belonging to the group were killed.
Iraqi government forces, backed by tribal militias and US-led air forces, have been leading a military campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS since October. Iraqi government forces have liberated almost 50 of the eastern side of the city, military officials say. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday during a visit to Mosul’s Hammam al-Alil that two thirds of Nineveh have been retaken from ISIS. Government forces are eyeing the eastern shore of the Tigris River, which cuts through Mosul, so as to consummate the liberation of the eastern region.
ISIS remains in control of several areas of the western section, which is adjacent to its strongholds in Syria, but Al-Hashd al-Shaabi forces are reporting daily advances towards liberating ISIS locations in that region.
Also on Tuesday, Al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops said they had liberated the village of Ashwah, brought down some of Islamic State militants’ defenses and killed a number of the extremist group’s members near Tal Afar, west of Mosul.
ISIS, meanwhile, claimed several attacks on al-Hashd during the same day.
Al-Hashd media service said it carried out successful offensives on ISIS in ِAshwah village, southwest of the strategic ISIS stronghold of Tal Afar. It said two booby-trapped cars were destroyed before attacking the troops which moved 200 meters away from the village’s center.
ISIS Amaq news agency said, meanwhile, that militants carried out suicide attacks against al-Hashd in Ashwah and Tal Askaa, and targeted a bulldozer run by the militia in al-Sharaea village.
The agency made no mention of fatalities among al-Hashd.