Iraqi special forces have launched an operation to liberate the town of Qayyarah, used by terrorists as a key base to attack the nearby northern city of Mosul.
Iraqi Brigadier General Firas Bashar, the spokesman for the operations command in Nineveh province, said on Tuesday that the offensive “started at dawn with the participation of Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and army forces.”
Bashar also noted that the Iraqi forces are backed by the US-led coalition aircraft, which are allegedly targeting Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country.
Meanwhile, CTS spokesman, Sabah al-Noman, said the Qayyarah liberation campaign is “currently achieving its goals," adding that the operation will be “wrapped up quickly, bolstering … plans... for the final battle to liberate Mosul.”
Iraqi troops had been working with armed Qayyarah residents for the offensive, he further pointed out, saying, "There has been coordination with groups of armed residents inside.”
The Iraqi army is gearing up for a major offensive in late September to purge Daesh from Mosul, the last remaining bastion for the terror group north of the country. Iraqi forces have managed to wrest control of several areas in the southern parts of the city.
Qayyarah lies on the western bank of the Tigris river, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) south of Mosul.
Over the past few weeks, Iraqi forces have been positioning themselves around the Qayyarah, which is expected to be used as a launchpad for the upcoming operation in Mosul.
Qayyarah mayor, Saleh al-Juburi, has said that approximately 15,000 civilians are believed to be trapped by Daesh there.

CTS forces had already retaken key landmarks in the Iraqi town while most of the Daesh elements have been killed or fled the city, Juburi added.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in June 2014.
The Iraqi army and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have been engaged in joint operations to retake militant-held regions.
Since August 2014, the US, along with some of its allies, has been conducting air raids against purported Daesh positions in Iraq. The aerial assaults, however, have failed to disband the extremists