The second large-scale military offensive carried out by Iraqi troops against ISIS in the remaining stronghold in Mosul was launched Thursday, in a struggle to retake the territory from the terror group.
The Iraqi forces, backed by a military contingent from the United States military, according to Reuters, have already taken back a quarter of the last remaining ISIS stronghold. The military operation has been considered to be by far the biggest military ground offensive in Iraq.
Military officials are initiating the offensives from three major strategic points to close in on the Islam radicals, where there are more than 5000 police and soldiers are coming in through the southeastern districts, while counter-terrorist forces are making headway through the Karam and al-Quds districts to be reinforced with additional reinforcements.
"At 0700 this morning, the three fronts began advancing toward the city center. The operation is ongoing today and tomorrow and until we liberate the eastern side of the city completely," Lieutenant General Ali Freiji, commander of the northern military operations told Reuters.
The coalition forces have also conducting airstrikes along the remaining areas belied to hold the remaining ISIS militants. There are still civilians believed to be trapped in the crossfire in ISIS- held areas, which the United Nations hopes that these people are granted safe passage or evacuated from the battle zones.
During the last couple of months, the terror group has been experiencing massive losses among their radical members as a result of ongoing airstrikes targeting ISIS-held areas. Hundreds of militant leaders and soldiers have already been killed.
Military officials believe that ISIS is now massively outnumbered by the Iraqi - led coalition forces out to retake control of the region. The terrorist group, however, continue to rely on their asymmetric battle tactics including suicide bombings to sow fear among civilian populations and cause heavy damage to their enemies.
Early this week the US-led coalition forces have taken down the last bridge spanning across the Tigris River in Mosul, which will substantially cut-off a major transport artery into Mosul. This is likely to impact the flow of resources and supplies into the ISIS stronghold.
This was according to an ISIS-backed news agency report where they showed a video of the bombing of a bridge online. A statement was earlier used by the US-backed coalition forces saying they successfully disabled a major bridge, but failed to name which one.
Iraqi officials are expecting that they may be expecting to retake control of Mosul from ISIS within the next couple of months.