commander: bad weather delayed west Mosul
onslaught from Saturday
A member of
Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) stands
on a building during a battle with Islamic
State militants in east of Mosul, Iraq,
January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Nineveh - An awaited major offensive
against Islamic State locations in western
Mosul was due on Saturday by delayed due to
bad weather conditions, a commander at the
Iraqi army said.
Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saadi, a commander of
the second division of the army’s elite
Counter-Terrorism Forces, told Iraqi
newspaper al-Sabah that the operations were
due on Saturday but were called off until
the weatther betters.
Saadi, however, echoing similar
statements by the army’s generals, said the
forces remain ready to invade western Mosul
upon the signal from the supreme command
headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
On January 24th, Iraqi government forces,
backed by a U.S.-led coalition and popular
paramilitaries, recaptured eastern Mosul
from Islamic State, achieving the most
remarkable victory in three months of
battles against the extremist group.
Inclement weather had halted operations
at some stages during battles in the east.
“There must be seven days of non-stop
military operations in order for the
security forces to reach the outskirts of
the city and make military achievements like
those made in the eastern side,” said Saadi.
Islamic State had lost at least 3000
fighters in battles at the eastern section,
but is vigorously building up its defenses
in the west for the decisive battle. It has
also carried out several attacks on
recaptured areas in the east over the past
weeks, leaving civilian and security deaths.