US-led coalition bombs ISIS financial center as clashes intensify near Mosul

ARA News

DUHOK – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) launched two separate attacks on Monday evening on positions for the Iraqi army forces in the villages of Mahana and Khar Bardan south of the city of Mosul in Nineveh province, northern Iraq, military sources reported. 

However, the Iraqi army said in a statement on Monday evening that its units were able to deter the attack by targeting the bombers.

“The army 15th Division and the Commando Regiment were able to deter the ISIS-led attacks and killed 12 ISIS insurgents, including six suicide bombers, beside destroying a car bomb before reaching its target,” the Nineveh operations command in the Iraqi army said in an official statement, without revealing the death toll in its ranks. 

ARA News could not verify the death toll among the Iraqi army ranks from other sources.

In the meantime, an Iraqi security source told ARA News: “The Iraqi army has finished forming the 9th Armored Division to participate in the liberation of Mosul from ISIS along with other army Divisions and Brigades.”

Also, the US-led coalition forces conducted several air raids west of Mosul, hitting an ISIS-held bank and killing a number of militants, according to local sources. 

Speaking to ARA News, head of the Nineveh media center Raafat al-Zarari confirmed that the US-led warplanes targeted the main headquarters of the ‘Bank of Mosul’ in the western part of the city, killing a number of jihadis.

“At least four ISIS jihadis were killed and around US $1,000,000 was burned in the bombing of the bank,” he reported, pointing out “the strike also caused a considerable material damage to the nearby buildings, shops, and parked cars.” 

The radical group prevents citizens from reaching the targeted areas for fear of leaking information to the US-led coalition forces, according to eyewitnesses. 

The powers which prepare for the anti-ISIS battle to liberate Mosul include the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the National Defense group, the Iraqi army in addition to the US-led coalition forces.

Mosul was controlled by ISIS in June 2014. The presence of a social incubator of Sunni tribes – who had been strained by the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s policy– has facilitated the radical group’s control over the city, according to military experts.

Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef

Source: ARA News

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