Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visits troops in Mosul airport

March 7, 2017 8:00 pm
’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has paid an unannounced visit to troops deployed in the north of the country amid a fierce battle to recapture the second largest city of .
Iraqi state TV showed Abadi on Tuesday descending from a military plane at Mosul’s main airport and meeting with senior military officials.
It was not clear if Abadi also visited the western part of Mosul, where a fierce battle is going on to reclaim the last remaining neighborhoods of the city from the terrorists of the Daesh Takfiri group.
Images in local media showed Abadi sitting in front of a sign for Iraq’s joint operation central command and speaking to two commanders. The reports quoted him as saying that Iraqis will get out of the battle for Mosul “with their heads up high.”
Abadi was planned to travel to Iraq’s Kurdistan region after the visit to Mosul’s airport.
Reports earlier in the day said Iraqi army and elite police units had managed to retake the main government complex in Dawasa neighborhood and hoisted the Iraqi flag on top of the building. Later reports, however, said the unit of the federal police that had stormed the complex overnight was forced to pull back troops as it faced intense counterattacks by Daesh.
“We were pulled back because we had killed and wounded,” said the commander of the unit Sgt. Azam Ibrahim, adding that the complex had not yet been fully secured.

The photo released by Iraqi police forces shows a view to the Nineveh Governorate building, a part of a government complex in western Mosul retaken from Daesh Takfiri group earlier in the day, March 7, 2017.

Iraqi troops also recaptured Mosul’s central bank branch, a key museum and a building that housed Daesh’s so-called main court of justice.
Daesh captured Mosul in the summer of 2014 and had used various compounds in the city to promote its fear campaign. The Takfiri group had smashed many statues and artifacts in the museum, which was liberated on Tuesday while the court house was scene of harsh executions, including throwing people off building roofs and chopping off hands.

The photo released by Iraqi police forces shows a view to the main courthouse of the city of Mosul which was retaken earlier in the day from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, March 7, 2017.

The advances on Tuesday came more than two weeks after Iraqis launched the campaign to recapture Mosul neighborhoods on the western bank of the Tigris River. The eastern part of Mosul was declared fully liberated in January, about four months after Iraqis began the long-anticipated operation on the outskirts of the city.
Mosul is the last major urban center controlled by Daesh in Iraq. The militants had already been purged from vast swathes of territory they used to control in the west and north of the country.
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