Iraqi soldiers hold a position on the front line in the northwestern Nineveh Province, April 9, 2016 (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi forces have liberated a strategic village from Daesh
as part of their push to retake Mosul, the most important urban area under the Takfiri group’s control.
A Monday statement from the Nineveh Operations Command said Iraqi forces entered the village of Kabrouk in a swift operation which took Daesh by surprise.
The village is the fifth to fall back under the government’s control since March when the army launched an operation to liberate Mosul, which is Iraq
’s second-largest city.
The recapture of Kabrouk facilitates access to the oil town of Qayyara whose liberation would cut off Mosul from the territory held by the militants further south and east.
The capture came as the military opened a new front against terrorists in the Makhmour area, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the city.
More troops are to be assigned to the battle in Makhmour, while the final push for Mosul is estimated to require thousands of servicemen.
Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled Al-Obeidi (R) meets soldiers holding a position on the front line during a visit on the outskirts of Makhmour, March 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Owing to the Monday gain, Iraqi troops are now only less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Mosul.
Daesh has been wreaking havoc in Iraq since June 2014. The Iraqi military’s most important victory against the terrorists ever since has been their liberation of the central city of Ramadi, Anbar Province’s capital, last December.
Baghdad said at the time that the army would use Ramadi’s liberation as a “launch pad” to free Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has also pledged to rid the entire country of Daesh by the end of 2016.