By Idris Okuducu, Hemn Baban
Iraqi Defense Minister Halit el-Ubeydi said that more than 1,000 militants were killed during operations to recapture the south of Mosul.
"According to the Prime Minister's statements and military officials' predictions, the city of Mosul under Daesh control and other regions will be retaken within a year," El-Ubeydi said in a press conference in Mosul on Saturday.
The minister said that 1,300 Daesh militants were killed by Iraqi army during the operations.
On June 18, Iraqi forces launched an offensive against Daesh terrorists to retake the south of Mosul and Qayara field, one day after recapturing the western city of Fallujah from Daesh.
Army officer Lt. Gen. Mohamed al-Askari told Anadolu Agency last Saturday that the offensive aimed at retaking Qayara, south of Mosul, from the Daesh group.
“The operation aims to recapture Qayara, which is an important area due to the presence of a military base there,” he said.
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh overran Mosul and large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.
According to the UN, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced in Iraq - more than half of them children - while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Fatma Bulbul contributed to this report from Istanbul.