Iraq News

A third of east Mosul recaptured from ISIL: spokesman

Iraqi forces have recaptured more than a third of eastern Mosul four weeks into the battle to retake the city from the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL), AFP reported Tuesday (November 15th).

"More than a third of this (eastern) side has been liberated," Ministry of Interior spokesman Saad Maan said at a televised news conference.

On Tuesday, Iraqi forces recaptured al-Qadisiya neighbourhood in north-eastern Mosul "and are now just four residential neighbourhoods away from the Tigris river and central Mosul", Ninawa Operations commander Nejim Edin Karim al-Jubury told Diyaruna.

"Civilians are our main challenge," he said. "We try to avoid the use of heavy weapons to protect them, while ISIL sometimes uses them as human shields and sometimes forces them to come to us to prevent us from opening fire."

"However, the army is acting very wisely and cautiously in this regard," he added.

Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul on October 17th, advancing towards it from the north, east and south.

Forces on the eastern front were the first to reach Mosul, and Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service has since recaptured several areas inside the city.

On the southern front, interior ministry forces are approaching Mosul airport on the city's southern outskirts.

In addition to Mosul, ISIL holds the town of Tal Afar to its west, and also still controls areas in the western province of Anbar.

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