Iraqi forces storm Mosul airport, army base; shut in on Islamic State

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By: Reuters | Baghdad | Revealed:February 23, 2017 12:59 pm Iraqi Military troopers seek for Islamic State militants in a just lately liberated village outdoors Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photograph/Photograph)

U.S.-backed Iraqi safety forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul stormed the town’s airport and a close-by army base on Thursday, state tv mentioned. Counter-terrorism service (CTS) troops and elite inside ministry items, referred to as Speedy Response, descended on the airport early on Thursday and the close by Ghozlani army complicated, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan advised state TV.

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“Our forces began a significant operation early this morning to storm the airport of Mosul and the Ghozlani base to dislodge Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists. We are able to verify that the Mosul airport militarily has fallen and it’s a matter of brief time to completely management it,” Numan mentioned.

After ousting the militant group from japanese Mosul final month, Iraqi forces have sought to seize the airport and use it a launchpad for an onslaught into the west of Iraq’s second-largest metropolis. The airport and army complicated, which incorporates barracks and coaching grounds and sprawls throughout an space near the Baghdad-Mosul freeway, was captured by IS fighters after they overran Mosul in June 2014.

Lack of Mosul may spell the tip of the Iraqi facet of IS’s self-styled caliphate, which it declared from the town after sweeping by means of huge areas of Iraq and Syria.

The marketing campaign includes a 100,000-strong drive of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shi’ite militias.

Forces have made speedy advances because the begin of the yr, aided by new ways and improved coordination, army officers say.

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