Locals walk in a liberated eastern-Mosul neighborhood with an Iraqi army vehicle in the background. Photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army announced on Wednesday that a military operation to retake the right side of Mosul from ISIS militants will begin soon and that there is continued cooperation between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.
Osman al-Ghani said that "the Iraqi army, federal police and counter-terrorism forces are set to conduct the operation."
Al-Ghani hailed the role of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the three-months-long operation to liberate the left side of the city of Mosul as "effective."
He said "there was strong cooperation between the Peshmerga and Iraqi armed forces."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared in late January the left side of Mosul free from ISIS.
Al-Ghani also urged the residents who had fled eastern Mosul to return to their homes and resume work as it is completely cleared of ISIS remnants.
He went on to call upon the Iraqi government to help return the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to the liberated areas of Mosul.
Since October 17, the start of the Mosul offensive, the Kurdistan Region has received over 102,000 people displaced from the city and surrounding areas, according Kurdistan Regional Government's Interior Ministry.
The number of people fleeing the city rose sharply in the second phase of the operation launched on December 29.
The United Nations estimates 750,000 civilians are still trapped in western Mosul, living under the full control of ISIS.