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Iraqi Forces Open New Front against ISIS in Mosul | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A wounded man was evacuated by Iraqi forces along the Tigris near Mosul on Thursday. (Reuters)

Mosul – Iraqi forces opened on Thursday a new front as part of their battle to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS militants, who tightened their grip on civilians now trapped in the areas controlled by the organization.

An officer in the Iraqi army, lieutenant Mohammed al-Shamri told Asharq Al-Awsat that the military, Rapid Response units and Interior Ministry Federal Police troops kicked off early on Thursday a wide-range operation to recapture the northwestern areas of Mosul, particularly the neighborhoods of al-Harmat, Hawi al-Kanisah and al-Musharifah.

Al-Shamri said that Iraqi forces were capable to direct a beating strike against ISIS militants, killing tens of them.

“Hours after kicking off the operation, we liberated the third al- Musharifah neighborhood, al- Musharifah water facility and the northern part of the second al- Musharifah neighborhood. We are still advancing to liberate the other neighborhoods,” the officer said.

In the past few days, Iraqi forces had already prepared for the launch of the fresh front by opening a new exit for trapped civilians, who live in dire humanitarian conditions in the ISIS enclave.

The Federal Police and the Rapid Response unit were both advancing from the northwestern axis towards the area of al-Harmat.

Federal Police chief Shaker Jawdat told Asharq Al-Awsat that his forces plan to advance from the northwestern part of the city to surround the Fifth Bridge of the Old City area.

Another officer with the Rapid Response units said his forces infiltrated on Thursday in large parts of the Ihlila area towards al-Harmat and had recaptured the Hassouna village and the “Nineveh gas lab.”

In line with the ground operation launched by Iraqi forces along the entire Mosul fronts, the War Media Cell said on Thursday that the Iraqi air force launched numerous airstrikes on several ISIS positions in al-Harmat, Telafar and the 17 Tammuz areas and destroyed four weapon and explosive factories, in addition to a cache of missiles and explosives.