Baghdad, Dec 29 (IANS) Iraqi forces announced on Thursday the start of a second offensive against the Islamic State (IS) terror group in the city of Mosul.
Mohammed al-Bayati, head of the security committee in the province of Nineveh where Mosul is located, told Efe news that the operations resumed in order to free the city from the jihadi group.
Commander of Nineveh’s military operations General Najm al-Jabouri said that the next few hours promise a great victory for Iraqi forces.
The operation against the IS in Nineveh began on October 17, with an offensive led by the Iraqi Army and involving Peshmerga Kurdish forces and various militias.
Bad weather and IS resistance forced a stop to the ground offensive, but preparations to resume the operation have been happening for the last few weeks.
As part of the preparations, all the bridges across the Tigris river, which divides the city in two halves, have been bombed in an attempt to isolate the extremists and to prevent them from receiving reinforcements or launch counter-attacks against Iraqi forces.
The IS conquered the city and large parts of the province of Nineveh in 2014 and made Mosul its main stronghold in the Iraqi territory.
Since the start of the offensive, 137,000 families have been displaced by violence in Nineveh, the Iraqi government announced on Wednesday.