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The comprehensive military campaign by Iraqi military forces to liberate the Northern city of Mosul from ISIL militants continued on Monday with local media reporting that Iraqi popular forces have recaptured the last village on the road between Western Mosul and the strategic town of Tal Afar.
Iraq’s PMF Retakes Last Village on Mosul-Tal Afar Route, Police Kill 9 Militants
Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) recaptured on Monday the last village on the road between Western Mosul and the strategic town of Tal Afar from ISIL militants.
PMF’s media service said it took over the village of Sahaji, effectively cutting out the last road linking ISIL stronghold of Tal Afar with Western Mosul and added that 23 militants were killed in a PMU bombardment near Tal Afar, Iraqi News reported.
Also on Monday, Federal Police service said in a statement the popular forces also killed nine ISIL militants, defused four explosive barrels and seized 50 projectiles belonging to the group while advancing to Al-Bouseif hills.
Iraqi Forces Liberate 18 Villages West of Mosul
Iraqi security forces, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), liberated 18 villages South of the city of Mosul since the launch of the military operation to liberate Western Mosul, the Iraqi Army said.
“The joint forces and the Popular Mobilization Units have liberated the villages of Al-Lazakah, al-Karama, albu-Jawari, al-Jamasah and Kunaitrah as well as al-Zarkotiyah, al-Athba, al-Kafoour and al-Abiadh, in addition to the control over the main electricity station in Al-Lazakah village that feed the entire right coast of Mosul and imposing full control over the road that connects the Hammam al-Alil intersection with Baghdad-Mosul highway,” Iraqi Army’s media cell said in a statement, Badr News reported.
The statement has also pointed to the liberation of “Bakhira, al-Ibrahimiah, al-Husseiniya, Cheikh Younes, Debajah, Imam Hamza and Tel Kisom”.
HRW: ISIL Torturing, Abusing Women in Northern Iraq
Human Rights Watch said Monday militants of ISIL terror group, whose abuses against Ezadi women have been well documented, are going on their violence and immoral actions against local civilians, including raping and torturing women and girls in Northern Iraq.
The watchdog documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the militants on women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under ISIL control, Tribune reported.
HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by ISIL militants along with other women when they also attempted to escape the town. ISIL militants told her that her husband’s flight made her an apostate and that she should marry the local militant leader.
Iraqi Forces Clear ISIL from 14 Villages near Western Mosul
Iraqi forces liberated 14 villages near the Northern city of Mosul in Nineveh Province from ISIL during the first day of the military operation to eventually retake the Western part of the city, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah, the commander of the operation, said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced Sunday the start of the operations to liberate the Western part of Mosul from ISIL militants, RIA Novosti reported.
According to the statement of the operation command, the Iraqi forces have also managed to take control of the main power station, which supplies the Mosul’s entire Western bank with electricity.
Iraqi Forces Edge Closer toward Mosul Airport
Iraqi forces fought ISIL militants on Monday to clear the way to Mosul’s airport and edge closer to the strategic airfield on the second day of a ground offensive on the terror group’s remaining stronghold in the Western side of the city.
Iraqi Federal police and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response are leading the charge toward the airport, located on the Southern limit of Mosul, trying to dislodge the militants from a nearby hill known as Albu Saif, Iraqi News reported.
The Iraqi forces plan is to turn the airport into a close support base for the onslaught into Western Mosul itself.
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The Syrian army and its allies are just 500 meters away from Harabash district near Deir Ezzur military airport which has been besieged by the ISIL terrorists for two months now, a military source said on Monday.
“The ISIL is not deployed in the region which separates the army from Harabash and Deir Ezzur airbase but it has control over the region by launching attacks from Sariya Junaid, Tal al-Muhandesin and the power plant,” the source said.
He also said that the Russian fighter jets attacked a number of ISIL Toyota vehicles near Hamdan airport in the Southern parts of Bu Kamal city in Eastern Deir Ezzur, and added, “The common border between Syria and Iraq has also witnessed Russia’s airstrikes on ISIL’s Toyota vehicles stationed at the entrance of the Syrian territories in the Southern parts of Mayadeen city.”
In a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian troops, backed by the air force, targeted ISIL’s moves and gathering centers in Deir Ezzur, tightening the noose on terrorists who have besieged the Deir Ezzur airbase and killing tens of militants.
The Syrian fighter jets and missile and artillery units launched heavy strikes against ISIL positions near al-Maqaber (Deir Ezzur’s cemetery) region in the Southern outskirts of the city, inflicting losses on the militants.
Also, the Syrian army units targeted and blew up in air a bomb-laden drone belonging to the ISIL over al-Rawad hill in the Southwestern parts of Deir Ezzur.
Meantime, local sources reported that the ISIL has hidden most parts of the main streets leading to Bu Kamal market with tents and covers to blind army drones.
The ISIL terrorists drove a wedge along the government-controlled regions mid-January after capturing Deir Ezzur’s cemetery and the road connecting the city to the airbase. 14,000 ISIL terrorists launched a massive attack on army positions South of Deir Ezzur city, cutting off the strategic road connecting the city to the military airport.
After several rounds of heavy offensives against the Syrian Army positions that all failed, 14,000 ISIL militants and tens of suicide attackers and bomb-laden vehicles, managed to advance against government forces on the road connecting Deir Ezzur airbase to the city, dividing army-controlled regions in Deir Ezzur into two parts.
Military sources disclosed that the ISIL’s current round of attacks is the heaviest and largest operation the terrorist group has ever conducted in Deir Ezzur city and its military airport.
According to reports, the ISIL has gathered a large number of its forces from Raqqa, Deir Ezzur countryside and even from Mosul in Iraq to take part in the offensive. The ISIL also has a large number of suicide attackers and bomb-laden vehicles involved in the offensive in Deir Ezzur.
Then, Syrian Army troops, backed up by the Syrian and Russian air force, started to hit ISIL’s positions hard in the outskirts of Deir Ezzur to remove terrorists’ siege on the city’s military airport, managing to recapture several regions between the Deir Ezzur airbase and the city.
Syrian army units backed by aerial support have recaptured more areas in strategic al-Ma’amel region and in the surrounding areas of security brigade, as the military operations come closer to breaking the Deir Ezzur military airport siege.
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The Syrian government troops have liberated as many as 53 localities from ISIS terrorists since the beginning of the year. Such data was presented by the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria on the official website of the Russian Ministry of Defence.
The number of localities which join the armistice regime keeps growing. There were three more during the last day. Now there are 1,263 of them. Negotiations on joining the armistice regime are being continued with the armed opposition groups in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs and Quneitra. The number of armed groups who claimed about the armistice regime still makes up 110. According to the UN, about 300,000 Syrians have died since the beginning of the conflict.
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