Mosul operation starts from Makhmur front
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi army is unable to speed up their advance in Makhmur frontline toward Mosul due to the IED bombs planted by the Islamic State (IS) extremists, said a Kurdistan24 reporter on Thursday.
Hemin Hussein, the Kurdistan24 reporter embedded at Makhmur frontline, 124 kilometers southwest of Erbil, said that Iraqi army and Peshmerga forces were in preparation for attacking the village of Nasr on Wednesday while the international coalition was heavily shelling IS bases in Gayara and Nasr areas in southeastern Erbil.
“The fight is intensifying between Iraqi army and IS militants,” Hussein continued, “The militants are burning tires and black oil in the area to smoke up the sky and confuse Coalition jets that are shelling their bases.”
Moreover, he mentioned that Iraqi army is advancing slowly in the area as the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by IS extremists are hindering the process.
According to the latest developments, Iraqi army has controlled three villages in the area.
Hussein explained that Iraqi army has surrounded IS near Makhmur from three sides and the coalition jets are targeting the extremists whenever they try to withdraw from the fourth side.
“The coalition warplanes destroyed Gayara Bridge which was the only road that connected Makhmur to Gayara town. The bridge is located 80 kilometers southwest of Erbil.
Regarding the role of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the operation, Hussein noted that Peshmerga is playing the role of back-up forces. “Peshmerga forces are there and ready for the Iraqi army commanders to announce whenever they need help,” he said.
Kurdistan24 reporter added that a large number of IS extremists have been killed and wounded in the coalition airstrikes.
Peshmerga commanders told Kurdistan24 that there are some IS suicide bombers in those villages.
Peshmerga commander in Makhmur front Ziryan Wesani told Kurdistan24 that so far, 9 Iraqi army soldiers and Sunni Hashd al-Watani militiamen have been injured and one killed.
Reporting by Hemin Hussein and Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Ava Homa