Iraqi forces gear up to storm Mosul airport

US-backed Iraqi forces are building up positions in Abu Saif village which they captured from Daesh on Monday. The aim now is to push deeper into to the densely populated parts of western Mosul.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Iraqi security forces in the liberated part of Abu Saif village south of Mosul, Iraq, February 21, 2017.

US-backed Iraqi forces currently engaged in a fight to capture the Daesh-held western half of Mosul are gearing up to storm the airport.

If the operation is successful, the forces will use the airport to create a support base for a decisive push into the city.

The forces on Monday fought their way with armed helicopters, ground troops and rocket-propelled grenades to Abu Saif, a village overlooking the airport.

They're currently building up their positions in the village with an aim to advance further to the densely populated parts of the old city, home to some 650,000 civilians.

The United Nations and other international human rights organisations have raised concerns for the safety of families still present in the area, which is feared to become a fierce battle zone in coming days.

The battle is expected to be tougher than the one in eastern Mosul, most of which was retaken from Daesh last month as a result of a major offensive launched in October to rid the entire city of the militant group.

TRT World ’s Oliver Whitfield-Miocic reports.

TRTWorld, Reuters