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Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in on Mosul

Reporter: Li Jingjing 丨 CCTV.com

10-25-2016 15:11 BJT

Iraqi coalition forces continue to gain ground in their fight of retaking the city of Mosul. They've said that the operation has progressed, as more villages and towns have been recaptured. Turkey also claimed their efforts in the battle against ISIL. However, this has been denied by the Iraqi government. CCTV correspondent Natalie Carney has more.

Northeast of Mosul, coalition forces are surrounding the Iraqi town of Bashiqa, which lies on a crucial supply route 12 kilometers from the contested city.

Peshmerga fighters along with some 30-thousand Iraqi security forces plus Sunni and Shia militiamen have reclaimed a number of villages in the area, and residents have been seen raising white flags over their homes.

Counter terrorism teams are combing through newly liberated towns and villages to ensure they're free of any unexploded devices.

Leader of counter terrorism services, Colonel Falah Fader, said,"Today the counter terrorism services began from the early morning hours to clear the area and the villages in the Bartella province. Today, our troops advanced seven kilometers, six to seven kilometers away from Mosul."

The Iraqi army says a total of 78 villages and towns have been recaptured since the offensive began a week ago.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed the role Turkey is playing in the offensive to liberate Mosul, despite staunch opposition from Baghdad.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "Since the beginning of the Mosul assault, the number of terrorists killed by our forces with howitzers, artillery and tanks has almost reached 20. They killed 17 terrorists."

Yet Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi calls Turkey's claims on involvement "baseless and untrue."

Also on Monday, the U.S. Defense Department released video purporting to show the destruction of an ISIL target near Mosul by an air strike.

The U.S.-led coalition says it has carried out more air strikes on ISIL positions over the past week than it has at any point during the fight against Islamic State militants.

"The military offensive is having an effect on civilians in the region. The United Nations has also called for a pause in the fighting to deal with the mounting humanitarian needs. The U.N. says the fighting for Mosul could produce the world's biggest and most complex humanitarian effort this year," Natalie Carney said.

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