MOSUL, Iraq – The US-trained Iraqi counterterrorism Forces (ICTS) who spearheaded the offensive against ISIS militants in the eastern half of Mosul have launched a military offensive to recapture the city’s western industrial area since Monday morning.
The ISIS militants are engaged in fierce fighting against the advancing Iraqi forces in the industrial area, as well in 17 Tamuz district where the elite Rapid Response Team and the Haramat district are tasked with the Federal Police, Rudaw’s war reporter Farhad Dolamari reported from Mosul.
The areas are all located north and northwestern of western Mosul, also called the right bank, west of the Tigris River that bisects the city.
Plumes of smokes could be seen from the 17 Tamuz district as the Rapid Response Force of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, backed by the Iraqi air force and US-led Global Coalition, have entered parts of the district amidst of the deployment of car bombs and sniper fire by ISIS militants.
Iraqi forces were able to bring the Musharifa area under their control on Saturday, three days after they opened a new front against the extremist group northwest of the city.
The Iraqi forces had faced strong resistance when they tried to make advances against ISIS militants in Old Mosul, where it is more densely populated and the streets are narrower than the eastern part of the city. As a result, Iraqi armed forces were forced to shift their focus and instead open a new front in northwestern Mosul.
The spokesperson for the US-led Global Coalition Colonel Dorrian told Rudaw on Friday that "this new avenue of advance is the beginning of the end of ISIS in Mosul," as he made reference to the frontline opened northwest of Mosul by Iraqi forces a day before.
The ISIS militants are now “besieged” in all areas they control in Mosul and are “under the fireline” of the Iraqi forces, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the spokesperson of Iraq’s Joint Command told Rudaw on Friday.
Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army Osman Ghanimi has said that the operation to recapture the entire area of western Mosul will be completed within a month.