In the quest to wrest back control over the city of Mosul, Iraqi forces retook a key southern town from the Islamic State group on Monday, reports AFP.
The news agency reported that federal police, army and elite interior ministry forces established full control over Hamam al-Alil, the last town of note on the way to Mosul from the south.
Iraqi forces have already entered Mosul from the east and were moving close to the city limits from the north on Monday but have some distance to cover on the southern front.
The recapture of the town clears the way for Iraqi forces to push further north and move to within striking distance of the southern neighbourhoods of Mosul.
Mosul’s southern approach is home to the international airport, a vast military area and a large base that Iraqi forces were forced to flee when IS took over the city in June 2014.