TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi government forces recaptured an air base in northern Iraq from Daesh (also known as ISIL and ISIS), a victory hailed by the prime minister as a key step ahead of the long-awaited operation to push the terrorists from the northern city of Mosul.
In a statement issued on his website, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described the air base in the town of Qayara as an “important base to liberate Mosul” calling on the city’s residents “to get ready for the liberation of their areas,” AP reported.
Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city located about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, fell to Daesh militants during their summer 2014 onslaught that captured large swaths of northern and western Iraq. In late March, the government forces launched an operation aimed at dislodging the terrorists from areas to the south and southeast of Mosul and gradually cutting off the city’s supply lines.
In another recent victory, Iraqi forces managed to push Daesh militants out of Fallujah city, located roughly 69 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad, last month. Fallujah was held by Daesh for more than two years.
Angry with Iraqi forces’ success in liberating militant-held areas, Daesh has recently carried out a number of deadly terrorist attacks in the Arab country.
On Thursday, at least 37 civilians lost their lives and 62 others were injured when Daesh militants carried out a bombing and shooting attack near a holy Shiite mausoleum north of the Iraqi capital.
Daesh also claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing attack in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood on Sunday, which killed 292 people. The attack is the deadliest since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
By Tasnim News Agency