World Bulletin / News Desk
ISIL extremists have recaptured parts of Rutba city in western Iraq as Iraqi troops pushed to retake the northern city of Mosul from the extremist group.
Iraqi army officer Walid al-Duleimi said ISIL extremists attacked the city on Sunday from several fronts using suicide bombers and car-bombs.
According to al-Duleimi, ISIL extremists have seized some parts of the city, which was captured by Iraqi forces six weeks ago.
Scores of Iraqi forces, border guards and tribal fighters were reportedly killed in the attack.
“More than 16 ISIL militants were also killed,” al-Duleimi said.
In a related development, al-Duleimi said the Iraqi army has sent reinforcements into Rutba in an effort to recapture districts seized by ISIL extremists.
“Clashes are still raging on between security forces and ISIL militants,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces launched a military operation early Monday with a view to taking areas east of ISIL-held Mosul.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Major General Abdelwahab al-Saedi, who is leading the operation, said the offensive aims to liberate the Bartla district from ISIL militants.
“We are getting closer to the eastern outskirts of Mosul and our forces are now 4 kilometers away from the city’s eastern districts,” he said.
Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, launched a much-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, the last ISIL stronghold in northern Iraq.
The extremist group captured Iraq’s second largest city in mid-2014 before overrunning large swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
The Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and a U.S.-led air coalition, has since retaken much of the territory. Nevertheless, the extremist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2016, 12:16