Time: 10:44 p.m. CEST
Iraq’s police forces and army troops attacked the town of Hammam al-Alil, which is south of Mosul on Saturday and the Islamic State group, CNN reports, holds it. The Iraq’s Joint Military Command said the Iraqi air force participated in the assault on Saturday, in which the Iraqi troops are advancing to Hammam al-Alil.
This town is on 30 kilometers (18,6 miles) south of Mosul. The troops have reached the College of Agriculture, a statement said, as CNN reports. “The long-awaited assault on Hammam al-Alil, the last significant town before Mosul on the Tigris River, will add to the pressure on ISIS fighters,” CNN.com says.
BBC .com says the battle in Mosul continued on Saturday, with government troops and Islamic State militants exchange the sniper fire. As the BBC News reports, “the fiercest clashes were in the al-Bakr area.”
Iraqi troops reinforced their presence on Saturday in eastern Mosul, but with renewed clashes in several districts. Iraqi military had taken control of the neighborhoods of At Tahrir, Kirkukli and Zuhra. But, further south, the Islamic State group had control on districts of Qudes and Karama.
CNN adds a statement of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who visited the troops in the front-line combat units. “My message to ISIS: If they want to save their lives, they should lay down their weapons now,” Abadi told reporters, according to state-run Al Iraqiya TV. “We will punish the criminals among them, and we will hold them to account.”
On early Saturday, Islamic State group claimed a bombing in the eastern neighborhood of Aden and deaths of 15 counterrorism troops, and destroyed six military vehicles. CNN could not verify the claims.
The fights between the military and militants continue in Shirqat, which is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Mosul and it is third town that Islamic State group attacked in attempt to distract the coalition forces. Other attacks happened in Kirkuk, about 175 kilometers (109 miles) to Mosul southeast, and in Rutba, CNN says.
Turkish forces attacked Islamic State group across the border in northern Syria with five airstrikes over the pass 24 hours and killed eight Islamic State militants, the statement said, CNN reports. Late Friday, the militants claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Diyarbakir, Turkey, as Amaq news agency affiliated with Islamic State group stated. This was contradictory with an earlier statement by the Turkish authorities that pointed out the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, PKK for the blast, which killed nine and injured more than 100.
Civilians Forced Outside Homes
The fights hit the civilians, who were forced outside their homes. The United Nations refugee agency said 3,000 people had been received on Friday alone at a new camp for displaced families in Hasansham in Irbil. They were among an estimated 8,000 people to have arrived at Khazer and Hasansham camps in the past three days, the agency said, CNN says.