Iraqi forces have retaken three more villages in western Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, Iraqi security sources said Friday.
“The army’s 9th Armored Division recaptured the village of Ghazilwa after storming it Friday morning,” Iraqi army officer Jabbar Hassan told Anadolu Agency.
“After fierce fighting, our forces managed to inflict heavy losses on the militants,” he added.
On the same day, Army Lieutenant-General Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of the campaign to retake Mosul, announced that Iraqi troops had also “liberated” the villages of Rihaniyah Qadima and Rihaniyah Jadida.
In February, Iraqi ground forces -- backed by U.S.-led coalition air power -- began fresh operations aimed at eliminating Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group’s last stronghold in northern Iraq.
The offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.
*Reporting by Ali Jawad, Hussein al-Amir and Suleiman al-Qubeisi; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg