Iraqi forces retake Imam Gharbi, find bodies of Iraqi journalists

Iraqi forces on Thursday regained control of Imam Gharbi, a village south of Mosul which the Islamic State (IS) captured earlier in July, according to the Iraqi police.
author_image Nadia Riva

MOSUL, Iraq (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces on Thursday regained control of Imam Gharbi, a village south of Mosul which the Islamic State (IS) captured earlier in July, according to the Iraqi police.

Police Colonel Kareem Aboud told Reuters government forces had retaken full control of Imam Gharbi at dawn.

The body of two Iraqi journalists, executed by IS militants shortly after the attack, were also discovered.

Deploying guerrilla-style tactics, armed with machine guns and mortars, IS seized over 75 percent of Imam Gharbi, some 70 kilometers south of Mosul.

Troops were now searching the village for remaining militants.

The attack on Imam Gharbi is the kind of strike experts expect the extremists to deploy now that Iraqi forces regain control over major strongholds the group held since its emergence in northern Iraq in 2014.

Despite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declaring victory over IS in Mosul on July 10, pockets of resistance within the Old City and surrounding rural and desert areas persist.

Adding to the risks of revenge attacks are fears and allegations of human rights violations toward Iraqi forces.

As Mosul slowly begins to recover from the fight, the campaign’s impact is emerging, and groups are warning impunity could stoke sectarian tensions anew.

IS also faces pressure in the de facto capital of its self-declared “Caliphate” in Syria, where US-backed Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces have opened three fronts.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany