Baghdad, Aug 26 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday declared the liberation of Qayyara, a town near the Islamic State (IS) stronghold in Mosul, a government statement said.
“Our heroic forces made a great victory today on their way to liberate Mosul after they defeated the terrorist IS group. I congratulate our people about the liberation of the strategic town of Qayyara and surrounding areas,” Xinhua quoted Abadi, who is also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, as saying.
Qayyara is located 50 km south of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province.
The Liberation of Qayyara and the nearby airbase would mean that the security forces will be “closer to the main goal of liberating Mosul in order to rescue its people from the oppression of Daaish gangs,” the statement said.
The Free Nineveh Operations Command said the battles in Qayyara left dozens of IS terrorists killed, including suicide bombers and snipers.
The operation to free Qayyara began on Tuesday when the troops advance at dawn from several directions toward the town and freed its nearby oil refinery before seizing the local government building after heavy clashes with IS terrorists.
Last month, security forces recaptured a strategic airbase near Qayyara.