Baghdad, – Iraqi security forces have recaptured Mosul airport, a key part of the government’s offensive to drive the ISIS group from the western half of the city.
The operation took four hours, during which the ISISI elements continued to fire mortars at the airport from further inside the city after losing the ground to the army.
The ISIS elements have also entered a nearby military base amid further clashes, the BBC quoted a military spokesman as saying.
The assault began with overnight air strikes by the US-led coalition before armoured columns advanced to the airport’s perimeter.
An Iraqi lieutenant was killed by one of the roadside bombs planted in the area by ISIS, the BBC reported.
Iraqi forces also came under fire from ISIS militants who had holed up in inside airport buildings, reports said.
Foreign troops from the US-led coalition were with the attacking troops, officials said, without specifying their nationality.
The airport is on Mosul’s southern outskirts on the western side of the Tigris river.
The UN has voiced concern about the welfare of civilians trapped in the city, amid reports that they could number up to 650,000.
More than 160,000 people have already fled their homes in and around the city.
The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency