Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces recaptured Tuesday al-Tenek district, a major Islamic State haven in western Mosul, as operations continue to clear the region from militants.
The Joint Operations Command said in a brief statement that the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service entirely liberated the district.
The development comes hours after the JOC said on Monday it had taken over 70 percent of the western side of Mosul.
Government troops have been in intense encounters with Islamic State militants in the neighborhood over the past few weeks.
Iraqi government forces launched an offensive to retake western Mosul in February, having recaptured the eastern side of the city earlier in January after three months of battles.
Mosul (google maps)
Iraqi commanders said earlier this month that Islamic State members were only in control over less than seven percent of territory in Iraq.
A U.S.-led coalition backing the Iraqi campaign said there were less than 1000 fighters in the city as the extremist group kept losing several leaders.
Though facing nearly 100.000 government and coalition troops, IS militants proved to be a hard catch due to their deployment in the middle of civilians, a tactic which Iraqi and coalition generals say caused a slowdown in ground progress due to their anxiousness to preserve the safety of citizens who are believed to be used as human shields.