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Iraqi forces fall into Daesh trap west of Mosul

Iraqi security forces with weapons and armoured cars attend an operation held to retake Mosul from Daesh on 20 February 2017 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu]

The Iraqi army has been forced to retreat from the neighbourhood of Dawasah, west of Mosul, after falling into a trap set by Daesh, a security source revealed on Wednesday. Many casualties resulted from the operation.

The source of the information is a captain in Iraq’s rapid response force, who spoke to Anadolu on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media about this sort of operation.

“The Daesh withdrawal from Dawasah was a trap to lure the army into the neighbourhood,” he said. “The initial reaction of the senior officers was to declare a victory against the militants.”

However, he explained, the Daesh fighters had actually been waiting in tunnels dug for that purpose. “When they emerged, they were able to split the government troops into two groups and attack them from several directions.”

Read: Wild West Mosul

The captain said that requests to allow the army to withdraw were refused by the military high command. “After clashes that lasted for more than six hours, the army collapsed and was forced to withdraw towards Jawsaq, near Mosul international airport.” There were serious material and human losses, he confirmed, including the shooting down of a drone.

Another anonymous security source still operating in a Daesh-controlled area told Anadolu by telephone that “unidentified” aircraft struck Omar Al-Aswad Mosque in south Mosul late on Tuesday night. “Several displaced families live there,” he revealed. “Dozens of unarmed civilians, including women and children, were killed or injured as a result of that raid. Many bodies are still under the rubble.”

Neither the Iraqi army nor the international coalition forces have issued a statement regarding the incidents.

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