Iraqi forces move toward al-Shirqat town, southern Mosul
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi security forces liberated a village north of Salahaddin Province from the Islamic State (IS), and are moving toward al-Shirqat town, security sources said on Saturday.
The Iraqi units launched an offensive on Saturday morning against IS in the northern Salahaddin Province, said an Iraqi commander.
He revealed that the forces have freed Karim Khalaf village and will move from Makhmour front line, southeastern Mosul, and Gayara front toward al-Shirqat, in the south of Mosul.
The commander, who wanted to remain anonymous, noted that international coalition jets and Iraqi artilleries are heavily shelling IS bases in the front lines to open the road for ground forces to enter.
The forces involved in the offensive in northern Mosul underwent three months of intense training by coalition advisers, a security source explained.
The offensive is part of the operation to liberate Mosul from IS insurgents who have controlled the area since June 2014.
In the last few weeks, Iraqi security forces launched major attacks on Fallujah, a key city under IS control, located in the west of Baghdad. Security forces have liberated most of the region, but clashes are ongoing.
On Friday, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, presented a speech on state TV declaring, “We promised you the liberation of Fallujah, and we retook it.”
“Our security forces control the city except for small pockets that need clearing within the coming hours,” Abadi added.
Following Fallujah’s liberation, Iraqi security forces are likely to concentrate on Mosul in cooperation with Kurdish Peshmerga forces and coalition warplanes.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany