Iraqi PM declares full liberation of eastern side of Mosul

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DUSHANBE, 25.01.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared on Tuesday full liberation of the eastern side of the city of Mosul after more than 100 days of fighting against the extremist militants of the Islamic State group (IS, banned in Tajikistan), CCTV reported.

Meanwhile, Abadi urged the security forces to move quickly to liberate all the remaining areas of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, in particular the western side of the provincial capital city of Mosul, locally known as the right bank of Tigris River which bisects the city.

He made the remarks at a press conference here, praising the heroic forces and the unity of all Iraqis.

The troops, backed by the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi aircraft, freed the neighborhood of Rashidiyah and the nearby villages of Ba'wiza, Baysan and Shrikhan after heavy clashes with IS militants, leaving dozens of them killed and destroying eight car bombs, according to a statement from the Joint Operations Command.

The troops also killed two suicide bombers, shot down five unmanned drones carrying bombs and destroyed three vehicles carrying heavy machine guns, the statement said.

Experts believe that with the recapture of the whole eastern side of Mosul, the troops will soon begin a new phase of the anti-IS major offensive on the western part of the city.

On Oct. 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.

The second phase of the offensive to free the eastern bank of Mosul began on Dec. 29.

It should be noted that Mosul, 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan