Iraq PM: Progress in Mosul faster than expected
Iraqi army within 4 kilometers of Mosul airport
Iraqi forces, ISIL terrorists fighting in eastern Mosul
Fierce street battles raging in eastern Mosul
The Mosul liberation operation is going to enter its fourth week as the Iraqi Army continues its rapid advances inside the city, while Kurdish fighters and popular forces push terrorists back from more regions in the outskirts, especially West of Mosul, to block ISIL’s escape path to Syria’s Raqqa.
According to the Iraqi state TV, army and police forces recaptured the last ISIL stronghold South of the city, Hamam al-Alil town, and hoisted the Iraqi flags on government building in the last 24 hours.
The Iraqi police and army’s armored units began the operation to retake Hamam al-Alil on three fronts around since Thursday, and liberated many villages as they advanced toward the ISIL-held town.
Iraq: 5 ISIL Warlords Flee Nineveh Province with Several Million Dollars
Five ISIL high-ranking commanders stole group money and fled the Northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, local media reported.
The stolen money was intended to be paid to fighting terrorists, Al Sumaria broadcaster reported, citing its sources.
“Five high-ranking Daesh commanders including a militant known as Abu Bara Kakhtani responsible for the group’s treasury fled, which coincided with the disappearance of money,” the TV channel’s source said.
The Daesh leadership ordered to find the commanders and execute them. According to the source, they left for another Nineveh city of Tal Afar, then for the town of Baa’j and further for Syria.
Iraqi Volunteer Forces Resolved to Cut Off All Nineveh-Raqqa Roads
Volunteer forces stay behind Tal Afar’s gates to let army’s special units and security forces to fight ISIL in the city, a spokesman said, adding that the popular forces aim to block ISIL movements from Nineveh province in Northwestern Iraq to Syria, specially Raqqa.
“We are liberating and purging the terrorists from the villages in the Western parts of Nineveh to reach Tal Afar and then surround it,” Spokesman of Iraq’s Hezbollah al-Nujaba Movement Seyed Hashem al-Moussavi told FNA on Sunday.
He underlined the importance of the Western parts of Nineveh province, and said, “Cutting off this axis will stop aid to the terrorists who are trafficking between Mosul and Syria and we can then fully separate Nineveh from Syria, specially Raqqa.”
Noting that the popular forces don’t intend to enter the center of Tal Afar city, Moussavi said based on previous agreements, the Iraqi army and anti-terrorism forces will enter Tal Afar and the popular forces will only lay siege on the city and cut off the terrorists’ supply routes.
He said in addition to cutting off the terrorists’ supply routes from Iraq to Syria, the popular forces are also safeguarding the borders between the two countries and have facilitated capture of the terrorists in all parts of the region.
Leader of Hezbollah al-Nujaba: General Soleimani in Iraq
Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, the leader of Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a major Iraqi Shiite resistance movement fighting the ISIL, announced that Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qassem Soleimani is in Iraq along with other Iranian military advisors.
“The Iranian military advisors and Qassem Soleimani are in Iraq now,” Kaabi was quoted by the Iran-based Arabic-language al-Alam news channel as saying in an interview with Iraq’s Sumeria news on Sunday.
He also appreciated Iran’s support for Iraq in fighting against the ISIL terrorists.
Iraq: ISIL Arrests 20,000 Tal Afar Citizens for Human Shield
Deputy Chief of the Nineveh Provincial Council Noureddin Qablan announced that the ISIL terrorist group has arrested thousands of civilians in Tal Afar city to use them as human shield.
“A sum of 20,000 citizens of Tal Afar, specially Abata Hill (Tal Abata) and Mahlabieh districts, have been detained by the ISIL terrorist group to be used as human shields,” Qablan said.
He noted that the ISIL also forced hundreds of families of Tal Afar city to leave their homes and move to al-Ba’aj region and the Syrian territories.
“The intelligence obtained from the ISIL terrorists in Tal Afar confirms that most of the ISIL terrorists of Tal Afar are foreigners and only some of them are Iraqis,” Qablan added.
ISIL Warlord Killed in Airstrike in Eastern Mosul
Iraqi military sources disclosed that ISIL’s war minister and his deputies have been killed in an airstrike in the Eastern part of the city of Mosul in Nineveh province.
Abu Ayesheh al-Bilavi, nom de guerre Mohanad Hamed Ebrahim, and a number of his deputies who all bore foreign nationalities were killed in an aerial bombardment in Yarmajeh region in Eastern Mosul.
Unknown Gunmen Attack ISIL Governor’s House in Mosul, Kill 2 Bodyguards
Local sources disclosed that unidentified gunmen attacked the house of the ISIL governor in the city of Mosul in Nineveh province on Sunday, and killed two of his bodyguards.
“Abu Mohammad al-Hayali, the ISIL governor in Mosul, came under attack by unknown assailants at his house and two of his bodyguards were shot dead,” a source said.
Al-Hayali himself narrowly escaped the attack.
The source, meantime, underlined that the ISIL has declared a state of alert in areas under its control in Mosul city.
Iraqi Army, Popular Forces Advancing in Eastern Mosul
The Iraqi army and popular forces, including Hashd al-Shaabi, tribal people and Pishmerga, have started street fight against the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern outskirts of Mosul.
“Street fight has erupted between the Iraqi army and popular forces in al-Karama, Adan, al-Quds and al-Zahra districts in Eastern Mosul and the Iraqi forces have increased pressure on the terrorists and tightened the noose on them,” a field source said on Sunday.
According to the source, the ISIL terrorists are burning car tires as a tactic to camouflage and prevent the Iraqi fighter jets’ airstrikes.
The source added that as the Iraqi forces are advancing towards the Center of Mosul from the North and al-Bakr region, the anti-terrorism fighters have started massive operations in the Southern and Eastern parts of Mosul and have clashed with the terrorists in streets.
“They are now preparing for cleansing al-Ta’mim, al-Ekhla, al-Malayeen and the Industrial region of terrorists,” the source said.
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Fighting in Aleppo continues between regime and rebels
Syrian army advance towards Minian district in western Aleppo
Fighting resumes in Aleppo
Syrian Air Force bombed heavily the positions and gatherings of the
terrorist groups in the Western and Southwestern parts of Aleppo city,
killing tens of militants.
Tens of terrorists were killed and
many more were wounded in the air assault their positions, bases and
roads in the villages of al-Jeniyeh, al-Mansoureh, Zorat Abd Rabbeh,
Khan al-Asal and Awrom al-Cobra and the districts of al-Rashedeen 4 and
Terrorists’ bases and military vehicles sustained major damage in the air raid.
Syrian fighter jets also pounded terrorists’ centers near the Housing
Project 1070, preventing terrorists from advancing towards 3,000-Units
Syrian warplanes also targeted terrorists’
positions in Atarib, Aram, Kafr Naha and Abin, claiming the lives of
The air raids also targeted terrorists’
convoy of reinforcement troops on the way to the New Aleppo district and
the Assad Military-Engineering Academy.
groups-affiliated media acknowledged on Saturday that hundreds of
militants were killed or wounded in failed attacks on the positions of
the government troops in Western and Southwestern Aleppo.
large number of militants have been killed, including senior commanders.
In the meantime, hundreds more have been wounded in the second wave of
the Great Epic Operation to lift the army’s siege of the militant-held
Eastern districts of Aleppo city,” the sources said.
Abdullah Muhammad al-Muhaysini, a senior al Qaeda-linked cleric and the
religious leader of Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group, said in a voice
massage on his tweeter page that at least four Saudi militants,
including commander Khatab al-Tabouki al-Atwi, were killed in clashes
with Syrian army in the Western parts of Aleppo.
to the terrorist groups admitted on Wednesday that between 2,200 up to
2,500 militants have been killed or wounded in their large-scale
offensive on government forces’ positions in the Western and
Southwestern parts of Aleppo city in the last few days.
Arabic service of RT quoted the sources as saying that the terrorist
groups suffered between 2, 200 up to 2,500 casualties, including a large
number of non-Syrian militants, in their Great Epic Operation on Army
positions in Western and Southwestern Aleppo in the last 6 days.
Syria: SDF forces and Kudish miltias prepare for Raqqa operation
Plan to seize ISIS ‘capital’ Raqqa announced
The Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pushed ISIL terrorists back from a village and an area 10km in depth on the very first day of their Raqqa operation on Sunday.
“The SDF started its offensive on ISIL positions from two flanks near the towns of Solouk and Ein Issa. The Kurdish fighters advanced nine kilometers from Solouk direction and 10 kilometers from Ein Issa’s direction,” Kurdish sources said Sunday afternoon.
“The SDF, in Ein Issa and Solouk offensives, beat ISIL back from the village of al-Wahid, five farms and a small but strategic base near the village of Laqteh,” the sources aid.
“ISIL’s military vehicles also sustained major damage in the attacks,” the sources went on to say.
Earlier today, the SDF declared the start of military operation to capture ISIL’s de facto capital of Raqqa.
The start of the ‘Angry Euphrates Operation’ was declared on Sunday by Kurdish commanders in a press conference in the Syrian town of Ein Issa, North of the ISIL bastion.
The SDF said the US would coordinate with the Kurdish fighters to provide air cover during the Raqqa operation.
“The major battle to liberate Raqqa and its countryside has begun,” a Kurdish commander said, adding that “The ground operation in Raqqa would be carried out only by the Syrian Democratic Forces”.
Kurdish forces also warned Raqqa residents to stay away from the terrorists and urged all civilians to move to the territories liberated from ISIL.
Meanwhile, Kurdish forces announced that at least 30,000 fighters participate in the Raqqa offensive, stressing that Turkey would play no role in the operation.
“Our hope is that the Turkish state will not interfere in the internal affairs of Syria,” an SDF official declared at the press conference.
The operation comes amid the ongoing operation to liberate another ISIL capital, the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The Iraqi Army along with Kurdish and popular forces on October 17 started the offensive to retake the city which fell to the ISIL in 2014.
The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces who have received training from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.
Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.
There was no immediate comment from Damascus, Washington and Ankara on the Kurdish announcement.
In March 2013, Al-Nusra Front terrorists overran the government loyalists in the city in the Battle of Raqqa and declared it under their control after seizing the central square and pulling down the statue of the former president of Syria Hafez al-Assad.
ISIL took full control of Raqqa by 13 January 2014, and proceeded to execute Alawites and suspected supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the city and destroyed the city’s Shia mosques and Christian churches.