Iraqi forces retake two key areas in west Mosul

Iraqi police say the recapture of al-Kur and al-Tawafa will enable civilians to move to safer areas.

    Iraqi government forces launched the latest offensive to retake western Mosul on February 19 [Ahamd al-Rubaye/AFP]
    Iraqi government forces launched the latest offensive to retake western Mosul on February 19 [Ahamd al-Rubaye/AFP]

    Iraqi forces in Mosul have said they have captured two key neighbourhoods in its offensive to retake the western part of the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS). 

    Adel Ahmed, the captain of the federal police, said control of the al-Kur and al-Tawafa will allow for a safe corridor for civilians to leave the city.

    "Liberating both districts will allow opening secured corridors for the exit of civilians to safer areas," he told the DPA news agency.

    Ahmed also said Saturday's advance followed intense clashes between Iraqi forces and ISIL fighters.

    The Iraqi military launched the most recent offensive on western Mosul, the largest remaining ISIL stronghold in Iraq, on February 19.

    On Wednesday, Iraqi forces took control of a main bridge leading to the city and advanced towards the mosque where ISIL's leader declared a "caliphate" in 2014. 

    Nearly 100,000 Iraqis have fled western Mosul over the past three weeks, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday

    The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration said that as many as 600,000 civilians remained trapped in neighbourhoods of west Mosul. 

    IN PICTURES: The battle for western Mosul

    The operation in the city officially began in October last year. In January, its eastern half was declared "fully liberated".

     

    Mosul war map March 14 [Al Jazeera]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.