Iraqi army forces on Monday thwarted an attack by members of the Daesh terrorist group in the recently-recaptured Qayyarah district south of the Daesh-held city of Mosul, according to an Iraqi military source.
“About 80 Daesh militants carried out an attack in Qayyarah — using light and medium weapons and four vehicles — in an attempt to retake the district,” Colonel Mohamed al-Badri, commander of the Iraqi army’s 15th Brigade, told Anadolu Agency.
“Army forces, with air support from the [U.S.-led] international coalition, managed to repulse the attack, killing 34 militants, destroying their vehicles and forcing them to retreat towards the Hamam al-Alil and Al-Shura areas south of Mosul,” he said.
“Security measures have since been stepped up in an around Qayyarah in anticipation of further Daesh attacks,” he added.
According to al-Badri, Iraqi forces did not sustain any serious losses while repulsing the attack.
In August, Iraqi troops backed by coalition warplanes recaptured Qayyarah from Daesh.
Qayyarah is the largest district of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the regional capital, and boasts an oil refinery with a 16,000-barrel-a-day capacity.
It is also seen as an important staging area for any future campaign to retake Mosul.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army — backed by a 60-nation coalition led by the U.S. — retake much territory, especially in the western Anbar province.
Nevertheless, Daesh remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
Iraqi troops and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have recently captured a number of areas on the outskirts of Mosul, which Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture by year’s end.