Members of the Iraqi army’s elite forces, the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), have recaptured a village and a television station on the edge of Mosul, in their latest push to liberate the northern city from the grip of Daesh terrorists.
“We finished clearing Gogjali and took control of the Mosul television station building,” Staff Lieutenant General Abdelwahab al-Saadi said on Tuesday.
Major General Sami al-Aridi also confirmed the recapture of the TV station in Mosul, located in an eastern district of the city.
He noted that the advance on Mosul came after heavy fighting near the state TV building as Iraqi forces tried to push into more urban areas of the city.
The TV station is the first important building in Mosul that has been retaken by Iraqi troops since the beginning of the liberation operation.
‘True liberation’ of Mosul started
Also on Tuesday, a CTS commander stressed that the “true liberation” of the contested city had begun, with Iraqi troops being stationed at the edge of Mosul.
“Our final goal is arriving in Mosul and liberating the city,” Staff General Taleb Sheghati al-Kenani told the Iraqiya state television from Gogjali.
More than two weeks ago, the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a long-awaited operation to wrest control of Mosul, the last stronghold of Daesh in the Arab country. Since then, the Iraqi forces have been advancing on the city on multiple fronts.
Many believe that the recapture of Mosul, which fell to Daesh in 2014, would signal the terror outfit’s total defeat in Iraq.
Turkey deploys tanks to frontier with Iraq
Additionally on Tuesday, unnamed Turkish military sources said the army had started deploying tanks and other armored vehicles to the Silopi area of Sirnak province, situated close to the border with Iraq.
Photos provided by the sources showed a long column of vehicles, including tanks, tank rescue vehicles and construction vehicles in single file on a dual carriageway.
Last week, Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units, announced that its members had begun operations aimed at cutting supply routes between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqah by freeing Tal Afar, home to a sizeable ethnic Turkmen population.
However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his country was seeking to reinforce its troops in Tal Afar and vowed a “different response” if the Iraqi forces allegedly “cause terror” there.
Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that the deployment is related to the developments in Iraq,
Turkey has “no obligation” to wait behind its frontiers and will take necessary measures if forces from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) take a foothold in Iraq’s Sinjar, he added.