On Sunday, the Iraqi ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) secured an important advance northwest of Tal Afar after their forces took control of the mountainous region near Al-Ayathia villages, thereby gradually encircling the Islamic State stronghold.
On this frontier alone, ISIS sustained at least 30 casualties while five SVBIED (car bombs) were utilized to counter the advancing PMU troops.
This newly captured area can be used by the PMU as a launching pad to storm Tal Afar and direct a large-scale offensive on the city.
Meanwhile, major gains were achieved inside Mosul’s western neighborhoods today after the Iraqi Armed Forces repelled a last-ditch ISIS counter-offensive yesterday.
Led by the ‘Rapid Response Units’, the Iraqi Army stormed the Al-Sumood district and liberated it within hours. Furthermore, Iraqi troops seized the Nabi Sheet Mosque, Ninawa Police Directorate and Danadan Mosque, thereby reaching frontline positions just a few hundred meters south of the central ISIS-held government buildings. Modest advances were also reported in the nearby Al-Dawasah, Tal Ruman, Shuhada and Dawasah areas.
— Chris Tomson (@TheDaneChris) March 5, 2017
During fierce urban warfare inside Mosul’s western residential areas, dozens of ISIS militants were killed (at least 25 confirmed to Al-Masdar News). Remarkably, an entire 14 ISIS suicide car bombs attacked government positions inside Mosul, bringing the total record-tally to 19 on Sunday across the Nineveh governorate.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration announced that 12,000 people fled Mosul over the past 24 hours. In total, some 286,000 civilians have fled the northern city since the Iraqi Army began its offensive, the ministry noted.
Nevertheless, roughly 80% of Mosul has now been liberated.
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