An Iraqi army official says thousands of soldiers are being deployed to an army base in northern Iraq in order to prepare for retaking Mosul from Daesh militants.
“Units from the Iraqi army have begun arriving to [at] a military base near the Makhmur district to start launching initial military operations toward Mosul,” the official said on Monday. Makhmur is some 70 kilometers southeast of Mosul.
The official added that three brigades have so far been stationed at the base and some 4,500 soldiers would eventually arrive.
Daesh captured Mosul in June 2014 and from there began to seize other areas in the north and west of Iraq.
The army official further noted that the aim of the military operation is to cut off Daesh supply lines between Mosul and surrounding areas like Hawijah in Kirkuk Province and Baiji in Salaheddin Province.
Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for Kurdish forces, also said that the majority of the deployed troops are Kurdish.
“These forces came with the approval of the presidency and government of the Kurdistan region of Iraq,” Hekmat added, noting that the base is for both aircraft and soldiers.
On Sunday, a senior Saudi-born Daesh commander, named as Shobaib Abu Majd al-Kanani, was killed in an airstrike in Nineveh Province. Eight other militants were also killed in the attack.
Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.
The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.
Iraqi army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.