A high-ranking Iraqi security source says government forces have taken back more than 60 villages from Daesh Takfiri terrorists since the beginning of the massive and multi-pronged offensive to free the northern city of Mosul started nearly a fortnight ago.
Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat announced on Sunday that Iraqi forces have managed to establish control over 61 villages, purge 1,400 square kilometers of Daesh militants and evacuate 1,396 displaced families to safety zones since October 17, Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network reported.
He added that 747 Daesh terrorists have also been killed and 88 others captured during the mentioned period.
Jawdat went on to say that 164 cars rigged with explosives, 42 armored vehicles, 61 explosive belts and 47 motorcycle bombs were also destroyed.
Additionally, Iraqi forces confiscated 25 vehicles and 170 rounds of ammunition, defused 1,066 explosive devices and destroyed 13 workshops for booby-trapping vehicles and manufacturing bombs.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) also stated that Iraqi security forces have managed to retake the village of Ali Rash, located southeast of Mosul, and raise the national Iraqi flag above several buildings in the area.
The statement added that scores of Daesh terrorists have been killed and a large amount of their munitions destroyed in the process.
Separately, fighters from pro-government Popular Mobilization Units retook the villages of Amerini, Ayn Baydha and Shik southwest of Mosul.
The volunteer forces also advanced on Zaeiziyah region, forcing Daesh militants to flee en masse to the nearby Ajya region.
Also on Sunday, Popular Mobilization Units entered Mostantaq al-Oula amd Mostantaq al-Thaniyah villages and laid a siege to Moshirfah village.
In another development, pro-government volunteer forces marched into al-Jern and al-Salmani regions in pursuit of Daesh terrorists.
The International Organization for Migration said on Saturday that more than 17,500 people have fled their homes toward government-held areas since the Mosul liberation operation began, warning that the number is expected to rise drastically as Iraqi army soldiers, volunteer forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters close in.
The United Nations has also pointed to the sufferings that civilians are enduring in terrorist-held territories, stating that there are credible reports that Daesh extremists are carrying out mass executions and seizing tens of thousands of people for use as human shields.
Daesh’s “depraved, cowardly strategy is to attempt to use the presence of civilians to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations”, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement on Friday.
He said the terrorists are “effectively using tens of thousands of women, men and children as human shields.”