Duhok – The Iraqi Army General Command announced on Tuesday that more than 2,000 Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists have been killed since the start of the battle for Mosul. This announcement follows week-long battles in which the would-be Caliphate has suffered numerous defeats, retreats and desertions.
“Our forces made remarkable gains in Nineveh Governorate, liberating dozens of villages from Daesh terrorists,” the General Command said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. “Over 2,000 Daesh terrorists have been killed since the launch of the Mosul operation on October 17th.”
Iraq’s 8th Army Brigade has reportedly reached the suburbs of Mosul city after pushing ISIS back towards the Industrial District. According to Iraqi staff officers, their troops, in cooperation with the Kurdish Peshmerga, have been rapidly overcoming ISIS positions in Mosul’s eastern periphery.
While the Iraqi Army had pushed up from the southeast, the Kurdish Peshmerga has swept down from the northeast. Kurdish soldiers have expelled ISIS from more than 25 villages and towns since the start of Mosul campaign.
According to Peshmerga officer Nechirvan Mirani, his comrades are “now only 7 km away from the city of Mosul.”
ISIS militants are now spread thin across three dynamic fronts. Military analysts believe that Mosul’s jihadist defenders will soon pull back into the city’s urban warrens.
Peshmerga Won’t Enter The City
Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, told ARA News that after liberating Bashiqa District from Islamic State, Kurdish forces will not push on to Mosul city.
“According to the agreement with Baghdad, the Peshmerga will create a [defensive] line, while the Iraqi Army will advance further. We will not go to the centre of Mosul,” Yawar said, in an exclusive interview with ARA News. “Only the Iraqi Army, federal police and local police will ever enter the city.”
Yawar, speaking for the Peshmerga, denied reports that Turkey would be part of the Mosul operation. “No, there are no relations; Turkey is not part of the planned operations. We have no relations with Turkey,” he told ARA News.
Nevertheless, ARA News sources have consistently claimed that a Turkey-backed Sunni Arab contingent would be part of the Mosul operation, though not the Turkish Army itself.
General Yawar has stressed that the “Peshmerga has no relations with Turkey; [regarding Mosul,] we only have agreements with the coalition and the Iraqi government.”
Reporting by: Ehmed Sawes | Source: ARA News
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