Iraqi forces recapture nearly 90 pct of west Mosul: spokesman

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-16 19:15:59|Editor: xuxin
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MOSUL, Iraq, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi forces have recaptured nearly 90 percent of west Mosul from the Islamic State group since the launch of a major offensive to free the city from extremist militants, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said on Tuesday.

"The Iraqi forces have freed 89.5 percent of the western side of Mosul from terrorist Daesh (IS group) militants, and what left is only 12 square km," the JOC spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, said at a press conference.

Rasool said that IS militant seized some 108,405 square km in June 2014, which represented 40 percent of total area of Iraq, and now, the terrorist group are only capturing 2,875 square km all over Iraq, which represents 4.6 percent of the total land of Iraq.

Rasool said that the total number of IS militants killed since the October offensive has reached 16,467 terrorists so far.

He said that the troops also destroyed 679 car bombs and 76 car bomb-making sites, along with detonating or defusing some 6,661 roadside bombs.

U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces in the battles against IS militants, told the press conference that the last IS militants remaining in the western side of Mosul were completely surrounded and are "on the brink of total defeat."

Dorrian said that the Iraqi forces will be prepared to defeat IS militants in other areas and the coalition forces will continue to support the Iraqi forces.

On Oct. 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, announced the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, the country's second largest city.

Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.