PMUs recapture western Mosul villages, army holds off sneaking IS members
Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Paramilitary forces have recaptured three areas in western Mosul on Friday, while government forces foiled an attack on the eastern region by Islamic State militants.
Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units), the alliance of Shia paramilitary troops fighting IS with the government, said Friday they recaptured the villages of Bostan Radif and Um Gharba, as well as the Sherka region.
The PMUs had announced earlier on Friday they began a new phase of operations against Islamic State extremists designed to secure roads southwest of the Nineveh Desert region, seeking to cut militants’ supply routes from Hawija, Kirkuk.
Meanwhile, security sources told AlMada Press earlier on Friday that security forces, backed by fighter jets from the U.S.-led international coalition, thwarted an attack by Islamic State fighters on the recently liberated eastern region.
The militants crossed the Tigris River, which bisects the city, early Friday, and engaged in clashes with security forces deployed in the region, according to the sources. Twenty combatants were killed after intervention from coalition aircraft, they said.
Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul on January 24th after three months of battles. Islamic State is still holding most of the west, and has reinforced its defenses in anticipation for upcoming security onslaughts.