The Iraqi Federal Police forces have reached the entrance gates of Mosul, as part of a massive offensive backed by Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces, to retake the last major stronghold of the Daesh (ISIS or ISIS) terrorist group in Iraq.
The Federal Police command announced that its forces have reached the entrances to Mosul, the Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported.
According to a security source in Nineveh Province, the forces of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service have arrived in neighborhoods about four kilometers from downtown Mosul.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said the Hashd al-Shaabi troops plan to open a new front in Mosul, without giving further details.
The Iraqi army launched the offensive on October 16 aimed at wresting Mosul from the hands of Daesh.
“The time has come for the greatest victory,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on the same day on state TV. “I announce the start of Liberating Mosul Operation, by the will of Iraqis, and after depending on Allah.”
Al-Abadi said that Daesh would be “punished” for its crimes and that the province’s cities and villages will be rebuilt.
In recent years, Iraq has been facing the threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the Daesh terrorist group.
Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive.