U.S.-Backed Iraqi Forces Storm ISIS-Controlled Military Base & Airport In MosulScreen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.34.58 AM
Iraqi forces have recaptured an airport that has been under the control of the Islamic State in Mosul and have stormed the al-Ghazlani military base just west of the airport. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces carried out a large offensive on the Mosul airport as part of their efforts to regain control of the western part of the city that had been completely in control of the Islamic State. Elite Counter Terrorism forces entered the Ghozlani army base from the
Col. Abdel Amir Mohamed, commander of the Rapid Response Unit of the Federal Police, said that the Iraqi Federal Police are in full control of the airport, according to CNN. Iraqi forces look to use the airport as a launchpad to continue the fight to drive the Islamic State out of the country’s second largest city.
Police captain Amir Abdul Kareem, who is taking part in the fight near the military base says the Islamic State had deployed bomb-carrying drones to try and keep the counter terrorism forces from entering from the southwestern part of Mosul.
“We are attacking Daesh (Islamic State) from multiple fronts to distract them and prevent them regrouping,” Kareem said. “It’s the best way to knock them down quickly.”
At the airport, Iraqi forces were met with suicide car bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Iraqi commanders expect that the effort to retake the western part of Mosul will not be as easy as it was taking the eastern part. According to civilians living in west Mosul, Islamic militants have created a system of underground tunnels that enables them to hide, move and track counter terrorism troops.