Iraqi troops arrest a suspected Daesh militant in western Mosul, Iraq, February 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Saudi Arabia had dispatched more than 100 intelligence officers to Mosul to join the Takfiri Daesh militants and direct them in battles against Iraqi government forces and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, a recent report has revealed.
Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network, citing a report published by Qatari al-Sharq newspaper, revealed that 150 Saudi intelligence agents were fighting alongside Daesh members in Mosul, and working hard to extend the battle.
The paper added that Iraqi government forces confiscated important documents certifying Saudi intelligence officers’ assistance to Daesh terrorists once they liberated Mosul from the clutches of the Takfiris.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the extremists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units had made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle to retake the city began eight months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.
Twenty-eight aid groups working in Iraq have issued a statement, calling for international support for the reconstruction of Mosul and urged Iraqi authorities not to press civilians to return.
They have also expressed deep concerns for Iraqis trapped in Daesh-controlled areas in Iraq, namely Tal Afar, Hawijah district in the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk and the troubled western province of Anbar.
Iraqi troops find Daesh terrorists hiding in Mosul tunnels
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces have found a large number of Daesh militants, who were hiding in tunnels dug beneath the Old City of Mosul.
Pictures published on a number of social networking websites show Iraqi security personnel standing by as Daesh terrorists walk out of the rubble of destroyed buildings.