Press TV- A senior Iraqi commander says the Iraqi forces have made preparations for retaking another district in the eastern part of the strategic city of Mosul, but the process has slowed down due to Daesh terrorists’ resistance.
Brigadier General Haider Fadel told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Daesh elements were targeting Iraqi special forces with mortars and rockets as they advanced in the Zohour neighborhood.
“We are cautiously advancing. There are too many civilians still living there,” Fadel said.
On Sunday, the Iraqi troops began their operation to wrest control of Zohour by fortifying their positions in the already liberated areas in eastern Mosul.
Iraqi forces seeking to cut Tal Afar-Sinjar path
In another development on Tuesday, the Popular Mobilization Units announced the beginning of the campaign to recapture western Mosul and cut the path linking the town of Tal Afra with the town of Sinjar.
Iraq’s War Media Cell reported that the popular forces managed to fully retake the villages of Kharab al-Jihash and Tal Abra, forcing Daesh militants to retreat to Tal Afar.
The path connecting the two villages of Zariqi and Sharia al-Janub in the west of Tal Afar was also cut, the report added.
The Iraqi forces further liberated Sharia al-Shamal village, inching closer to the Tal Afar-Sinjar road.
Meanwhile, the al-Sumaria news website reported that two factories used for making car bombs were targeted in airstrikes on the Wadi Akab district in eastern Mosul. The air raids killed dozens of terrorists.
Similar aerial attacks also killed an unnamed Daesh security official along with three other Takfiris in Abu Maria in the Tal Afar district.
On Monday, the Iraqi police said they had shot down a Daesh spy drone in the village of Azbah in the south of Mosul and liberated four villages in the west of the city.
Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters have been leading a major offensive to retake Mosul, the last Daesh bastion in the country, since October 17.
Mosul fell to Daesh two years ago, when the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.
68,000 Iraqis displaced in Mosul operation: UN
Separately on Tuesday, the United Nations estimated that over 68,000 people have fled their homes since the beginning of the Mosul liberation operation.
Some “68,550 people are currently displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.
It further expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation near Mosul, saying, “Humanitarian needs are severe among displaced families in and out of camps, vulnerable residents of retaken communities, and people fleeing” Mosul.
More than one million civilians are thought to be trapped in Mosul.