– Iraqi forces have captured 74 villages and towns from Daesh militants in the first week of a major offensive aimed to oust the terrorist group from the northern Mosul city, the Iraqi army said, according to Anadolu Agency.
Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, launched a much-anticipated operation to retake Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq.
“At least 772 Daesh militants have been killed in battles since the start of the Mosul operation,” the Iraqi army said in a statement on Monday.
The statement, however, did not mention any word about the army losses during the onslaught.
On Sunday, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces said they have become 10 kilometers away from Mosul’s eastern districts.
Daesh captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in mid-2014 before overrunning large swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and a U.S.-led air coalition, retake much of the territory.
Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on the city, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to recapture by year’s end.