Iraqi troops supported by the international coalition have started installing floating bridges on the Tigris River in Mosul as part of the ongoing operation to recapture the city from the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL).
"Iraqi forces are setting up bridges on the Tigris to allow soldiers to cross onto the western side of the city," joint operations command spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya al-Zubaidi told Diyaruna on Tuesday (January 31st).
"The bridges will take some time to be completed, but meanwhile, Iraqi forces are eliminating pockets of ISIL militants on the other bank of the river," al-Zubaidi said.
Iraqi airplanes have dropped millions of leaflets on areas in west Mosul urging residents to prepare for the battle and keep away from areas where ISIL gunmen are concentrated, the Ministry of Defence said Tuesday.
The leaflets also included safety instructions, a ministry statement said.
Meanwhile, search and clearing operations continue on the eastern side of Mosul, al-Zubaidi said, adding that displaced residents of neighbourhoods that have already been cleared of mines and explosives are being transported back to their homes in buses.
Several main roads connecting Mosul with neighbouring provinces and cities have been reopened, he added.