In this June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators
chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they
carry the group's flags in front of the provincial
government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq.
The Iraqi military on Thursday said it started the
operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul
from the Islamic State.
Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, was captured by
the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, in
A military statement read on state TV Thursday
said: "The first phase of the Fatah (Conquest)
Operation has been launched at dawn to liberate
Nineveh (in Mosul), raising the Iraqi flag in
Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, a spokesman for Iraq’s
Joint Military Command, said soldiers retook
several villages on the outskirts of the town of
Makhmour, east of Mosul, on Thursday morning,
the Associated Press reported.