BAGHDAD, Sept. 22 (UPI) — Iraqi security forces took control of at least two villages in the Saladin Governorate’s Sharqat district away from the Islamic State, which cut off a supply route to IS-held Mosul.
The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition supported the Iraqi offensive Wednesday to retake the villages of al-Jasma, Khadaan, Baja and al-Sabkha. The supply route was captured after heavy artillery bombing of positions held by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
“This route was a key supply-line for Daesh terrorists in northern Iraq. It linked the Daesh-held major city of Mosul with the Sharqat District and the Baaj District,” Iraqi Army officer Salim al-Jabouri told ARA News. “Losing this route was a heavy blow to Daesh, as the group cannot support its operations in those two districts with military reinforcements anymore.”
The Iraqi offensive on the ground was led by the Iraqi Army’s 9th armored division and the 73rd brigade.
In the Sharqat district, local residents stormed a prison held by the Islamic State and freed 40 prisoners, most of whom were Sharqat residents, after killing five prison guards.