Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Battles to Retake South Mosul Village from ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi security forces carry their weapons during fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Erbil- Iraqi forces led a fierce battle on Thursday against ISIS gunmen who succeeded to sneak into Imam Gharbi village in southern Mosul.

Along with sleeper cells in the village and its outskirts, the militants managed to control the village and take a number of families as hostages.

Abdul Rahman al-Waggaa, a member of the Nineveh Provincial Council, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the 9th Armored Division of the army continues its operation to restore control over the village and eradicate the remaining armed men who are detaining a huge number of families in the eastern side of the village. Security forces succeeded in evacuating the village from residents to avoid being injured during the battles.”

Waggaa added that according to received information, around 20 ISIS militants, the majority of them foreigners sneaked to the village. An ISIS group was waiting for this force inside. So their number doubled, allowing them to hold the families captive.

He pointed out that the security forces took their time before launching the battle to save these civilians.

“The group continues to hold 20 families as hostages,” he added, refusing to announce the number of civilian losses during the past two days in the village.

However, some village residents told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS executed the detainees while the residents killed some of the local armed men.

Along with the liberation battle of Imam Gharbi village, Iraqi forces continued to advance from three axes in Old Mosul to regain control of the remaining parts.

However, organizations tasked with rescuing civilians fleeing battles announced that the number of the displaced mounted to more than 900,000, the majority of whom are children and women.