ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Iraqi security forces close in on Islamic State (IS) held districts of Hamam al-Aleel and al-Hamdaniya southeast of Mosul.
The Iraqi army launched an offensive against IS-held areas southeast of Mosul on Tuesday, the second day of the Mosul liberation operation, retaking several villages from IS control.
The Iraqi army and Federal police liberated several villages in the northern town of Qayyara, including the villages of al-Sirt, Bajwaniya, al-Hud and al-Mashraf, and parts of the district of al-Hamdaniya.
Iraqi media outlets reported that the Iraqi security forces have entered al-Hamdaniya district, 32 kilometers southeast of Mosul, without any resistance from the IS extremists.
Al-Hamdaniya was a Christian-populated district before IS extremists took control of Mosul and displaced the majority of its population who sheltered in the Peshmerga-controlled areas in the Kurdistan Region
The efforts by the Iraqi security forces are ongoing to retake the towns of Hamam al-Aleel, al-Namrud and al-Hamdaniya.
The Iraqi Federal Police announced that the police has regained control over 56 oil wells near Ain al-Jaash village northern Qayyara.
The Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi officially announced the start of Mosul military operation on Monday early morning.
The announcement was televised on state TV, signaling the start of Mosul offensive to clear the city from the IS.
The General Command of Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan Region released a statement, stating the operation launched approximately at 06:00 am by Peshmerga forces in Khazir - east of Mosul, with Iraqi security forces from Gwer and Qayyarah – south of Mosul.
According to the statement, the operation in Khazir includes up to 4,000 Peshmerga in three fronts to liberate the nearby IS-occupied villages as part of the agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq.
Editing by Ava Homa