Members of the Iraqi Federal Police secure an area as they advance near the Old City in western Mosul on April 2, 2017, during the offensive to retake the city from Takfiri Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)
Iraqi army forces, backed by pro-government tribal fighters, have mounted an operation to drive Takfiri Daesh terrorists out of two regions in the country’s troubled western province of Anbar, and establish full control over them.
The commander of the Army’s 7th Division, Major General Numan Abd al-Zawbaei, said on Tuesday that Iraqi troopers and allied tribal fighters, backed by the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh terror group, started an offensive to liberate al-Madham and Khabrat Umm al-Waz southwest of the town of Anah near the Euphrates River, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.
Zawbaei added that the operation aims to eliminate the last pockets of Daesh militants in both regions, noting that Iraqi army soldiers and their allies have so far managed to destroy an explosive-laden car and a rocket launcher with 12 projectiles.
Iraqi forces find mass grave in west Mosul
Meanwhile, members of the Iraqi Federal Police have found a mass grave in the northern city of Mosul, which contained the bodies of dozens of people killed by Daesh extremists.
Captain Yunis Dhanon of Nineveh Provincial Police said security forces found the grave inside al-Zahra Mosque in western Mosul, noting that the burial place “contained the corpses of 24 civilian, mostly women, who were executed by Daesh gangs.”
Dhanon added that the dead bodies, which bore signs of torture and decomposition, have been transferred to al-Badil Medical Center in southern Mosul. No identity cards have been found to identify the victims.
Daesh executes over 100 civilians in Mosul
Separately, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) said in a statement on Tuesday that Daesh Takfiris had massacred more than 100 people in western Mosul last Friday.
This file picture shows Takfiri Daesh terrorists in an undisclosed location in Iraq.
The statement, citing unnamed local sources from Mosul’s Old City, said the extremists killed members of 22 families from the al-Mekkawi area after 22 young men from those families tried to escape from the district with the help of a Syrian smuggler.
The smuggler had reached a deal with the young men two months earlier, but the plan was dropped when Iraqi security forces started an operation to liberate the region. Daesh members, having found out about the scheme, executed the young men, their families as well as the smuggler’s family.
The IOHR statement said the executions were carried out inside public baths in Mekkawi, and 106 corpses were left there for 14 hours before civilian-owned vehicles came and took them away for burial.
300,000 Iraqis displaced amid Mosul battle: UN
Furthermore, the United Nations says around 300,000 people have been displaced since the onset of the military campaign to liberate Mosul from Daesh terrorists last October.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday that a total of 392,000 people have fled their homes, while 94,500 have returned since then.
Displaced Iraqis, who fled Mosul due to the ongoing fighting between government forces and Daesh terrorists, gather at the Hammam al-Alil camp, south of Mosul, on April 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) puts the number of people displaced by the Mosul operation at 302,400.
The report comes as the UN is expanding camps around Mosul to accommodate more refugees.
Several Daesh commanders slain in airstrike on western Mosul
Additionally, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement that a number of Daesh commanders were killed in an aerial attack on a militant position in al-Tanak neighborhood in western Mosul.
The statement pointed out that among those killed was the commandant in charge of Arab bombers and child recruitment, without identifying him by name.
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