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Foreign Affairs

Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Forces Search Bazwaia for ISIL Militants

The Iraqi army's elite unit, the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), have searched the recently recaptured village of Bazwaia for Islamic State (Daesh/ISIS/ISIL/IS) militants.

On Tuesday (October 25), with its commander announcing the end of a stage in its push for Mosul; Reuters reported.

Head of the unit, Lieutenant General Abdelghani Al Assadi, speaking in the village 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) east of Mosul said the situation was going well. "We are now searching for tunnels or any Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) members hiding here or there. God willing the situation is good, we have ended this stage," he said.

"The coalition planes are targeting certain locations we tell them about," he added. About 80 Islamic State-held villages and towns have been retaken in the first week of the offensive, bringing Iraqi and Kurdish forces closer to the edge of the city itself - where the battle will be hardest fought.

The Iraqi force attacking Mosul is 30,000-strong, joined by U.S. 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.

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. U.N. aid agencies said the fighting has so far forced about 7,400 to flee their homes.

In a series of counter-attacks on far-flung targets across Iraq since Friday (October 21), Islamic State fighters have hit Kirkuk, the north's main oil city, the town of Rutba that controls the road from Baghdad to Jordan and Syria, and Sinjar, a region west of Mosul inhabited by the persecuted Yazidi minority.

Source: Al Alam

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