Mosul- Iraqi Special Forces advanced on Monday towards the eastern coast of the Tigris River, which divides the city of Mosul, and surrounded Mosul University where the ISIS organization has used its laboratories.
“The Baladiyat neighborhood is done (recaptured) and Sukkar should be done before nightfall,” Major-General Sami al-Aradi of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) told a Reuters reporter in Mosul.
“This area is very important because it overlooks the university (which) is a central district … If it falls, we will control the forests, the presidential palaces and the eastern bank of the Tigris,” he said.
The official said ISIS has used the university’s laboratories to make biological weapons and store chemicals.
On Monday, Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a top commander in Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP that Iraqi forces will retake east Mosul from the jihadists within days.
Asked about the time needed to purify the left coast of Mosul, al-Assadi replied: “A few days, God willing.”
Assadi said that “the bridge fell tactically,” though Iraqi forces were still some 150 meters away.
The general also said: “Our units are close to encircling Mosul University.”
Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Rashid Yarallah, commander of the operation to recapture Mosul from ISIS said on Monday that “the federal police forces managed to liberate in full the Palestine neighborhood on the left coast of Mosul, and raised the national flag over its premises.”
Separately, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Monday that Iraq seeks to open new border crossings with Jordan.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Hani al-Mulki after a ministerial meeting in Baghdad, al-Abadi said both sides agreed to reopen the Treibel border crossing soon, in a way that will serve trade and transport activities and the movement of people between the two countries.
“We seek to encourage trade between Iraq and Jordan,” al-Abadi said, adding that soon, an agreement will be announced to implement the oil pipeline project from Iraq to Jordan.