MOSUL, Iraq (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi security forces on Tuesday revealed they had recaptured a train station in Mosul from the Islamic State (IS).
The train station, once one of Iraq’s central rail hubs, had not been in service since the insurgent group overran the city.
Since the launch of the major offensive to retake western Mosul from IS in February, Iraqi forces have advanced and liberated several neighborhoods.
The forces also recently liberated Mosul’s famous museum and the provincial government headquarters.
In a statement, Lieutenant Raed Shakir Jawdat, the commander of the federal police, said the train station, as well as a bus station, were liberated.
The director of Iraq’s state-owned railway company Salam Jabr Saloom said the station was the “main corridor from the north to the south [of the country],” according to AFP.
“[The station] was exposed to many terrorist attacks before the entry of [IS],” Saloom continued.
Moreover, railway company spokesman Abdulsattar Mohsen explained the station was “very important from a trade standpoint.”
He added it was used as a “launch point for trains carrying goods to Syria and Turkey and back.”
“But, it stopped after the [IS] attack on Mosul,” Mohsen told AFP, referring to the insurgent group’s emergence in 2014.
The campaign to retake western Mosul is becoming difficult as Iraqi troops maneuver on the edge of the Old City.
Several thousand people are still thought to be trapped in the area with narrow streets and closely spaced buildings.
Armored vehicles won’t be able to enter the area as Iraqi troops would be forced to advance on foot, expecting their toughest challenge of the Mosul operation.