“Our mission is liberation of the country and closing the borders strongly and if needed, we will go to Syria to chase the ISIL terrorists since we believe that if the ISIL isn’t annihilated in Syria, war will in fact continue to threaten Iraq,” Ameri said in a press conference in Western Mosul.
Elaborating on the operations to liberate Mosul, he said that the popular forces have made an agreement with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi not to enter Mosul similar to the Pishmerga forces.
Ameri noted that the popular forces’ deployment in Western Mosul is aimed at deployment in a region near Tal Afar to tighten the noose on the ISIL terrorists in Mosul and cut off the roads if needed.
His remarks came as the first units of the Iraqi army entered the strategic al-Karama region in Southeastern Mosul on Monday.
Al-Karama is the first region of Mosul city that the Iraqi army entered after the city fell to the ISIL terrorists in July 2014.
Earlier on Monday, Iraq’s joint military forces kicked off a new round of military operations from three directions towards the Eastern parts of Mosul after seizing control over a vast swathe of land in the surrounding areas of the city in Nineveh province.
“The Iraqi forces started moving towards the Eastern bank of the Tigris river near Mosul city,” the Arabic-language media reported.
The military operation towards the Eastern part of Mosul started on the 15th day of the Mosul liberation operation.
Meantime, the Iraqi sources disclosed that the ISIL has laid mines and stationed snipers on the Eastern bank of the Tigris river.