Mosul, IRAQ — A huge underground prison with dozens of detainees from Anbar province was found in west of Mosul, a local source from Nineveh said on Saturday.
“While liberating western Mosul districts, Iraqi troops found a huge underground prison, where dozens of detainees from Fallujah, Ramadi, Saqlawiyah and Karma cities were held,” the source told AlSumaria News.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said “the detainees were released. They were secured by Iraqi troops ahead of being treated. They were then transferred to another place to check their identities.”
Iraqi generals had earlier predicted recapturing the city in mid-May before start of the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Saturday.
Iraqi forces have been sweeping through northwestern neighborhoods over the past few weeks in a way to invade the strategic Old City, after finding it hard to invade from the south.
The eastern side of Mosul was retaken in January after three months of battles. Another major offensive was launched in February to recapture the western flank of the city.
Meanwhile, America’s Freedom Fighters reports that Iraqi army warplanes and paramilitary forces killed 38 Islamic State militants during operations at areas west of Mosul and near the Syrian borders this week.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said warplanes killed 25 IS members at gatherings in Tel Fares, Baaj and Badush region west Mosul. Three vehicles carrying guns were destroyed in the strike, according to the media outlet.
Coincidentally with government troops operations in Mosul, army warplanes have been backing PMU operations against IS holdouts near the Syrian borders, most notably at the Qairawan and Baaj regions. Earlier on Tuesday, PMU media said its forces had begun to dig trenches along the Syrian borders one day after they had reached them through recapturing several villages on the way.
Iraqi forces have been approaching IS’s last entrenchment in western Mosul in the Old City since late April. Operations to recapture western Mosul launched on February 19th. Eastern Mosul was liberated in January.
Iraqi generals had predicted the city to be recaptured before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, which began Saturday, but more recently put the expected date back to June 10th, the anniversary of the city’s fall in IS control in 2014.