Iraqi forces recapture airbase south of Mosul: military sources

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 09, 2016 8:47 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces on Saturday took control of an airbase they plan to use as a launchpad for an offensive on Mosul, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group, military sources said.

Regular and special forces of the Iraqi army entered the Qayyara airbase from the south, under air cover from the U.S.-led coalition, they said.

"It's a strategic advance," said a senior army officer from the frontline. "It will help speed up the offensive on Mosul." The army began advancing on Qayyara in March.

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(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by John Stonestreet)