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Iran Press TV

Iraqi forces retake key town amid push to liberate Mosul

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:11PM

A senior Iraqi military commander says the country's special forces have managed to liberate a key town near Mosul as they press ahead with their offensive to liberate the northern Daesh-held city.

Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati said on Thursday that the liberation of the town of Bartella, located some 15 kilometers from the edge of Mosul, is "important" for the ongoing Mosul operation.

On Monday, the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a long-awaited operation to wrest control of Mosul, the last stronghold of Daesh in the Arab country.

Many believe that the recapture of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province which fell to Daesh in 2014, would signal the terror outfit's total defeat in Iraq.

Arrest warrant issued for ex-Mosul governor

In another development on Thursday, an Iraqi court issued a warrant for the arrest of Atheel al-Nujaifi, a former governor of Nineveh province, on charges of passing intelligence to neighboring Turkey.

Iraq's Judiciary spokesman, Abdelsattar Bayraqdar, said in the statement that two witnesses were heard on Wednesday, completing a 10-month investigation, which was launched following a complaint by three parliamentarians against Nujaifi.

The lawsuit was lodged last December when a diplomatic crisis broke out over a Turkish troop deployment to Iraq.

Last December, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of Mosul. Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against Daesh, but Baghdad denounced the unauthorized move as a violation of Iraq's national sovereignty.

"The plaintiffs stated in their testimony that the defendant facilitated the entry of Turkish troops and helped them establish a base in Zilkan," near Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, Bayraqdar said.

Nujaifi is widely perceived as corrupt and his running of Nineveh province is seen by some as a factor that allowed militants to take over the city with relative ease.



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