Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of Mosul government buildings

Iraqi forces captured Mosul’s main government buildings in the battle against the Islamic State while also knocking out the militant group’s drones.

Iraqi forces on Tuesday said the government structures are largely destroyed. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with military leaders in Mosul on Tuesday. 

Abadi toured parts of Mosul, including the Mosul International Airport.

Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service Cmdr. Lt. Gen. Abdul Ghani al-Assadi on Tuesday said the issue of the Islamic State using drones to drop hand grenades and other explosives on advancing Iraqi forces “has been resolved completely.”

Assadi said that in the past five days “not even a single flight” of IS drones has been recorded.

U.S. Air Force Col. John L. Dorrian, U.S. spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State international coalition, told Rudaw the use of drones has been inhibited by “jammers” provided by the United States.

“The Iraqi security forces are moving very rapidly right now. The enemy is not able to stop their advances,” Dorrian said. “The only thing the enemy has still been effective in doing is using drones, and even this capability has been declining.”

Iraq launched its military offensive to retake western Mosul from the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, ISIL and ISIS, on Feb. 19. The offensive to retake Mosul began Oct. 17, led by Iraqi security forces and aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, a Shiite-led militia, and the U.S.-led international coalition. Iraq fully captured east Mosul in late January.

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Najim al-Jabbouri said the equipment helped paralyze the IS drones.

“The Americans have brought in a very advanced machine to the right bank of Mosul,” Jabouri said, “It is like a big vehicle. ISIS can no longer send even one drone into the sky.”

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