Iraqi troops, backed by volunteer forces, have regained control of a key neighborhood in the strategic northern town of Baiji, clearing it from the ISIL Takfiri militants.
“The security forces launched back-breaking campaign against the ISIL militants during which Askari neighborhood was purged of terrorists,” security sources were quoted by Iraqi media as saying on Sunday.
The army’s new gain came a day after it brought the neighboring al-Mazra’a village under its control.
On Saturday, Iraqi Kurdish fighters, also known as Peshmerga, launched a major offensive to recapture the northern town of Sinjar from the ISIL terrorists.
“Today the Peshmerga launched an attack from different directions to liberate Sinjar from the (ISIL) organization and are making an advance,” a Kurdish official said.
The Kurdish forces targeted a number of militant positions with heavy weapons, inflicting casualties on the militants, the official added.
Iraqi troops have recently stepped up their efforts to clear more territories and retake full control of Baiji from ISIL.
On Friday, Iraqi soldiers and volunteers liberated al-Sinai and al-Tamim neighborhoods in Baiji from the militants.
Baiji is placed on a main road to the northern city of Mosul, which is controlled by the ISIL extremists, and its liberation can choke off the supply lines of the militants.
The town fell into the hands of the ISIL several weeks ago, but Iraqi forces managed to prevent the terror group from taking over the Baiji refinery, the largest in the country.
The new military operations in Baiji came after Iraqi soldiers successfully drove out the last batch of ISIL Takfiri terrorists from the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, which sits on a major road linking Baghdad to oil-rich provinces in the south.