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Iraqi security forces retake Shirqat from ISIL

Reporter: Michal Bardavid 丨 CCTV.com

09-23-2016 13:49 BJT

Iraqi security forces have retaken control of a government compound in Shirqat from Islamic State militants. It is seen as a stepping stone in the campaign to recapture Mosul.

The operation launched on Tuesday, backed by mostly Shiite paramilitary and air support from the US-led coalition. Shirqat lies some 280 kilometers north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Tens of thousands of civilians are thought to have been trapped in Shirqat and its surrounding villages, which have been under Islamic State control since the group seized a third of Iraqi territory in 2014.

“Yes, yes to Iraq!”-- These Iraqi soldiers chant in the early hours of the day – words of motivation and determination, full of energy, ready to attack ISIL in Shargat, Iraq.

A long convoy of military tanks strolled down roads towards ISIL territory. Men with machine guns on their shoulders brushed along bright yellow flowers as they walked the path to fight ISIL militants on the ground.

The fighting was intense – as Iraqi forces loaded and fired rockets of all sizes… from short range to long range across the field. Military helicopters were a key part of the offensive as well – as they attacked from the skies – crowd cheers of joy can be heard below.

Iraqi soldiers emphasized ISIL militants fled so quickly that they were forced to leave behind many of their weapons.

"We now have two of their cars, this car and that Hummer car; I captured them from ISIL. We also destroyed a suicide car; it was a truck and they had completely rigged it with explosives," A Iraqi soldier said.

The battle against ISIL has angered many Iraqis – as they have witnessed their land being occupied by a terrorist organization. Many stress they will not stop until ISIL is demolished.

"We are very well prepared in every possible way, and our morale is very high, and I am sending my message from here to ISIL. We are chasing you, you will have nowhere to escape!" A Iraqi soldier said.

With the combined efforts of Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition, ISIL is slowly losing ground. Now many are focused on liberating Mosul – still a stronghold of the terrorist organization.

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