Early this morning, the Iraqi Army’s 72nd Brigade of the 15th Division managed to capture the village of Mahana in the eastern part of Nirneveh province.
This has now pushed ISIS forces back to Makok village near the oil-rich town of Qayyara which lies along the densely populated Tigris River.
The capture of Mahana puts Iraqi government troops just 60 kilometers south of Mosul which has been transformed into a bastion of the Islamic State ever since their troops captured it in the summer of 2014.
With no casualties reported among the Iraqi Army, today’s advance was enabled after a heavy bombardment by warplanes and artillery units.
With 4 nearby villages captured in the past weeks, local Iraqi Army commanders complained there was a lack of federal police and tribal fighters to hold the newly captures areas, thereby seemingly restricting further advances en route to Mosul.
While Iraqi officials and politicians have promised to retake Mosul before the end of the year, the Iraqi Armed Forces and pro-government militias still have much ground to cover if this liberation is to take place.