MOSUL, Iraq (Kurdistan24) – Operations by Iraqi security forces against the Islamic State (IS) in Mosul resulted in the deaths of over 25,000 militants, an Iraqi commander said on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Yarallah, head of the Nineveh Operations at the Joint Operations Command, revealed over 25,000 extremists were killed.
In a press briefing, the Iraqi commander who led the battle to retake Iraq’s second largest city stated the dead included over 450 suicide bombers.
The offensive to liberate Mosul began in October 2016, with the help of Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the US-led coalition's airstrikes.
The fighting lasted nearly ten months as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory on July 9, 2017.
According to Yarallah, Iraqi forces destroyed 1,247 booby-trapped cars, 1,500 “diverse vehicles,” and shot down 130 drones belonging to the militant group.
The Joint Operations Command participated in the operation with over 100,000 government and paramilitary troops, Yarallah explained.
“The Iraqi army fought a battle that no army in the world had fought,” the commander added.
Despite Iraq declaring victory in Mosul, IS remains in control of some pockets in the city.
“The regions of Mahalabiya, Ayyadia, and Tal Afar still witness an [IS] existence,” Yarallah said. “With their recapture, the province becomes fully liberated.”
Iyad al-Assali, an Iraqi police lieutenant, also revealed security units had arrested 245 suspected IS militants in Mosul’s Old City since Iraqi forces liberated the area.
Since its emergence in 2014, IS’ influence and control in Iraq and Syria has diminished.
An offensive by US-backed Kurdish-led forces is ongoing in Syria to defeat the extremist group and oust them from Raqqa, their stronghold in the country.
Editing by G.H. Renaud