Several military chiefs announced the continuation of an operation to recover Mosul, the capital of the northern province of Ninive and the main bastion of the ISIL in the country, after skirmishes carried out on Saturday simultaneously to the armed actions in Fallujah.
Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled Al-Obeidi pointed out that the government troops, including the special antiterrorist service and the federal security forces, started the "second stage" of the liberation of Ninive at 05:00 hours (02:00 GMT) on Sunday.
Al-Obeidi told local media that the objective of the operation is "to occupy Qayyarah and turn it into the launching pad to Mosul."
Qayyarah, which is some 60 kilometers south of Mosul, has an aerodrome and is a city on the banks of the Tigris River and a major base for the government forces in the area of Makhmur.
The offensive is supported by the air force of the US-led international coalition, especially the artillery of US Marines stationed outside Makhmur, as well as by the Shia militias from Popular Mobilization and members of Sunnite tribes.