The Iraqi army has killed 955 Daesh militants -- and captured another 108 -- on the southern front of an ongoing army campaign, now in its fifth week, to recapture Mosul, according to military sources.
At a Tuesday press conference held in the Al-Qayyara district south of Mosul, Brigadier-General Saad Maan, a spokesman for the army’s Baghdad Operations Command, said Iraqi forces had recently captured several areas inside Mosul and had since handed them over to local security forces.
"All the areas we capture [inside Mosul] will be handed over to the local police force," Maan said, noting that army operations remained ongoing along all battlefronts.
At the same press conference, U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian -- a spokesman for a 60-nation, U.S.-led coalition against Daesh -- said Iraqi forces were sparing no effort to protect Mosul’s civilian population.
"We [coalition forces] have struck Daesh positions with more than 4,000 mortar rounds [since the Mosul campaign began on Oct. 17]," he said.
"We have killed hundreds of Daesh terrorists and destroyed 59 bomb-laden vehicles and 80 tunnels [south of Mosul]," Dorrian added.
Last month, the Iraqi army -- backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground -- launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at retaking Mosul.
Once Iraq’s second largest city in terms of population, Mosul -- along with additional swathes of territory in the country’s north and west -- was overrun by Daesh in mid-2014.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army and its allies retake much territory from the terrorist group, especially on Mosul’s outskirts and in the western Anbar province.
Reporting by Haydar Hadi ; Writing by Sibel UgurluAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.