ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Iraqi security forces advanced to the center of the tow of Shirqat 100 km (62 miles) south of Mosul and fully ousted the Islamic State (IS), Iraqi military announced on Thursday.
Iraqi forces advanced to the center of Shirqat after the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi announced the military operation on Tuesday.
Shirqat has been considered a stepping stone in the campaign to retake Mosul from the jihadist group in northern Iraq.
On Thursday afternoon, Iraqi Joint Military Command announced the complete liberation of Shirqat from IS in a statement, stating the security forces reached the center of the town and pushed the extremists back to Mosul.
The town has been under the control of the IS since the emergence of the group in Mosul in June 2014.
Following the liberation of Shirqat, Kurdistan24 TV crew filmed the residents of the town rejoicing and warmly welcoming the security forces.
"Da'esh killed my mom and sister," cried one of the residents while talking to Kurdistan24 reporter Hunar Ahmed.
According to the residents, civilians in Shirqat were trapped, and they were unable to leave the town as the jihadist group prevented the people from fleeing other parts of Iraq which are not under the IS control.
Iraqi military officers explained to Kurdistan24 that IS members failed to combat security forces and almost all of them fled to Mosul, known as the capital of IS.
The following are some of the exclusive footages filmed by the Kurdistan24 crew in Shirqat:
Editing by Ava Homa