(U.S Department of Defense) Iraqi forces, backed by coalition strikes, are making gains in efforts to liberate western Mosul from ISIS terrorists, Defense Department spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters at the Pentagon today.
“The [Iraqis] have captured villages to the west of Mosul and they have penetrated the formal city limits from the south,” he said, adding, “We’ve seen some encouraging initial successes.”
About 75 percent of the Ghazlani military base southwest of Mosul has been secured, he said. In addition, Iraqi forces have a “strong foothold” on liberating the Mosul airport, Davis said. The Iraqis have cleared terrain to the south and west of Mosul, he said, gaining 24 square miles within the last day, for a total of 100 square miles since the offensive began five days ago.
The captain pointed out the total territory gained since Oct. 17, when the battle for Mosul began, is about 1,500 square miles. That figure includes recently cleared eastern Mosul, he said.