The Iraqi army Thursday through the voice of Chief Osman al-Ghanmi indicated that it could flush out Daech militants from the city of Mosul before the beginning of Ramadan (around May 26) as forces tighten grasp on the militant-held city.
Al-Ghanmi made the announcement during inspection before the last assault on the city takes place, reports say.
The Iraq army, backed by US-led international coalition airpower, has started since October to take control of Mosul transformed by the terrorist group as its Iraqi stronghold but the militants are still causing harassment.
Government forces supported by Shiite militia have made foray into the city, opening new fronts in a move to weaken resistance.
Al-Ghanmi noted that the task has become difficult as forces also need to protect civilian lives.
Iraqi forces are combing the industrial zone to weed out militant resistance.
The army also announced it launched a broad operation to get rid of Daech militants still staging attacks against regular forces in desert areas of Anbar province.
“The security forces are advancing from an area called Kilometer 160, west of Ramadi, toward Nukhaib,” said an army officer.
Maj. Gen. Mahmud Al-Falahi, head of the operations command pointed out that they moved in the desert to secure the area and Rutba; the last town on the road to Jordan.
About 30 members of the security forces have been killed in attacks and ambushes by the terrorists in the Rutba area over the past three weeks, reports say.