(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Iraq's Ministry of Defense released on Sunday footage of its air strikes on Islamic State targets in the western flank of the northern city of Mosul.
Commander of the Army Aviation, Lt. General Hamid al-Maliki, said Iraqi helicopters carried out 22 sorties, killing 93 Islamic State militants.
US-backed Iraqi forces on Sunday launched a ground offensive to dislodge Islamic State from their remaining stronghold in Mosul, in the western part of the city, and put an end to their ambitions for territorial rule in Iraq.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the offensive in the northern Iraqi city.
Islamic State militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after they were forced out of the eastern part of the city in the first phase of an offensive that concluded last month, after 100 days of fighting.
Up to 400,000 civilians could be displaced by the offensive as residents of western Mosul suffer food and fuel shortages and markets are closed, the United Nations has said.