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Iraqi Forces Retake Mosul University Campus


Iraqi special forces advance inside Mosul University during fighting against Islamic State militants in the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq, Jan. 14, 2017.

Iraqi forces have secured the sprawling Mosul University campus after a battle with Islamic State militants, officials said Saturday.

"We can say that the university has been liberated," Maan Saadi, a major general in the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), told AFP.

Saadi added that the Iraqi forces might recapture the entire eastern side of the city within the "next 10 days or so."

Iraqi forces said they also had secured three of Mosul's five bridges.

Saadi said the Iraqi army had retaken about 85 percent of the eastern side of the city since the U.S.-led coalition began bombarding Mosul in December.

Officials said the forces were meeting with less resistance than they had previously. In just the past two weeks, the Iraqi army has retaken several districts on its way to reaching the Tigris River, which divides Mosul roughly in half.

"We were targeted with only four car bombs, where before [IS] would send 20 in one day," said special forces Lieutenant Zain al-Abadeen. "And they aren't armored like before. They're just using civilian cars."

IS extremists took control of Mosul about 2½ years ago. Mosul is Iraq's second-largest city.

Map and location of Mosul University
Map and location of Mosul University