Iraqi Forces Recapture Mosul Airport
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Federal Police Forces have taken full control of the airport in the northern city of Mosul, reports said.
The Iraqi security forces closing in on the Daesh-held western half of Mosul stormed and recaptured the airport on Thursday, the Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported.
Counter-terrorism service (CTS) troops and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response descended took part in the operation.
“Our forces started a major operation early this morning to storm the airport of Mosul and the Ghozlani base to dislodge Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists. We can confirm that the Mosul airport militarily has fallen and it’s a matter of short time to fully control it," CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told state TV on Thursday morning, according to Reuters.
After ousting the terrorist group from eastern Mosul last month, Iraqi forces have sought to capture the airport and use it as a launchpad for an onslaught into the west of Iraq’s second-largest city.
The airport and the nearby Ghozlani military complex, which includes barracks and training grounds and sprawls across an area close to the Baghdad-Mosul highway, were captured by Daesh terrorists when they overran Mosul in June 2014.
Loss of Mosul could spell the end of the Iraqi side of Daesh’s self-styled caliphate, which it declared from the city after sweeping through vast areas of Iraq and Syria.
The campaign against Daesh in Iraq involves a 100,000-strong force of Iraqi troops, Popular Mobilization Units, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi and Kurdish fighters.
They have made rapid advances against the terrorists since the start of the year, aided by new tactics and improved coordination, military officials say.