The pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are sweeping through the Nineveh governorate as we speak and have liberated 11 villages from ISIS this morning in the countryside southwest of Mosul.
Following up on the capture of 13 villages yesterday, the PMU have now also captured the villages of Albu Gradi, Zaizaah Dawilayat, Tal Shaykhan, Suruj, Al’immam Hamzatan, Mushyrif, Al Hawit, Wa’Umm Al-Sayjan, Khirbet Tayr and the town of al-Areesh.
The advances are en route to Tal Afar – an Islamic State stronghold west of Mosul which the PMU has vowed to liberate – but also aim at cutting off ISIS’ supply line to Mosul city.
Effectively, ISIS has lost control of over 120 villages in Nineveh province since the campaign to liberate Mosul began two weeks ago.
Some 5,000-6,000 ISIS fighters are estimated to be held up in Mosul and its outskirts – their forces are outnumbered at least 10-to-1 by the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga.
A map of the PMU’s gains can be found here.