Iraqi Army Special Forces Attack ISIS in Village near Mosul
The Iraq army's elite fighting unit, the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), launched an assault on the village of Bazwaia on Monday, as part of a campaign to recapture the city and its surrounding areas, Al-Alam News Network reports.
The CTS, also known as the "Golden Division" fired mortars and rockets as they advanced on the village close to the Christian town of Bartella, from which Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) were rid last week.
The area is approximately five to seven kilometers (three to four miles) east of Mosul.
The Mosul campaign, which aims to crush the Iraqi half of Islamic State's declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, may be the biggest battle yet in the 13 years of turmoil triggered by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and could require a massive humanitarian relief operation.
The Iraqi force attacking Mosul is 30,000-strong, joined by US Special Forces and under American, French and British air cover.
The number of insurgents dug in the city is estimated at 5,000 to 6,000 by the Iraqi military.
The Iraqi army's press office said a total of 78 villages and town have been recaptured between October 17, when the Mosul operation started, and until Sunday (October 23) evening.
Some 1.5 million residents remain in the city and worst-case forecasts see up to a million being uprooted, according to the United Nations.
The distance from the frontlines to the built-up area of Mosul ranges from 40 kilometers (25 miles), in the south, to 5 kilometers at the closest, in the east.
UN aid agencies said the fighting has so far forced about 6,000 to flee their homes.
Source: Al Alam