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World

AFP
February 19, 2017
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Iraq forces say two villages retaken in new Mosul assault

Iraq forces say two villages retaken in new Mosul assault

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces led by federal police units retook two villages south of Mosul as part of a fresh push on the city´s west bank Sunday, a top commander said.

Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah said in a statement that forces advancing toward Mosul airport retook Athbah and Al-Lazzagah, reviving a four-month-old offensive that was paused following the reconquest last month of the city´s east bank.

The southern front in the Mosul offensive had remained largely stagnant for weeks as the forces deployed there waited for the completion of operations on the city´s east bank.

The two villages and neighbouring areas that federal police and the interior ministry´s elite Rapid Response forces retook on Sunday are the last before Mosul airport.

The airport and a nearby military base mark the southern approach to Mosul, on the east bank of the Tigris River that divides the city.

Elite fighting units are expected to attempt a foray into the city´s western side in the coming days.

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