Iraqi Spokesman: 83 percent of Mosul offensive completed

FNA- Iraq Ministry of Interior spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an said the security forces are still advancing on different axes and nearly 83 percent of the process of liberating Mosul has been finished so far.

Sa’ad Ma’an said that in the past few days, the anti-terrorism apparatus managed to retake the control of many villages in Northern Al-Hadar as well as three neighborhoods, including Al-Thawra, in the Northwest of Mosul, NRT reported.

“We have fully liberated the Eastern side of Mosul and over 60 percent of the Western side, which means we have completed nearly 83 percent of our military goals,” said Ma’an.

While talking about the progress of the operations, he said that there is a time limit placed by the joint operations command and that the liberation of each neighborhood is based on objective studies. But in the actual combat, situations can be very complicated, sometimes the ISIL militants would hide among citizens, which could be a big resistance to military operations, he added.

“Actually we will separate civilians and extremists based on existing plans, and then use snipers and assault teams to attack our enemies. The forces will also work with the intelligence agencies to carry out direct air strikes to the militant zones, their vehicles and other equipment,” he said.

Ma’an added that there is an effective plan to be followed by the security forces in the process to protect civilians. In addition, the Iraqi Interior Ministry will also cooperate with organizations to carry out psychological and social campaigns, considering that the supporter of the militants has done many bad deeds and tries to pollute the ideas of some citizens, especially the younger generation.

Ma’an also pointed out that the leadership of the extremist groups has collapsed following the defeats both in Iraq and in Syria, which has a significant impact on the morale of the extremist groups.

“The collapse of leadership means there will be no engines to plan any operation in this area. If the situation continues, there will never be ISIL leaders, whether it is al-Baghdadi or others,” added Ma’an.

He stressed that they should look at terrorism in a more comprehensive way, instead of pushing them out of one region and letting them cause damages in another. He said that the Iraqi security forces will continue its operations and eventually eliminate the existence of extremist groups in the country.

Iraqi forces have now taken much of Mosul from the militants who overran the city in June 2014. The military now controls the Eastern districts and are making advances in the west.

ISIL fighters, holding out in the Old City, are surrounded in the northwest and are using booby traps, sniper and mortar fire to defend themselves.

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