Iraqi Forces Reclaim Turkish Consulate Building in Mosul From ISIL

Turkey’s consulate building in Mosul was freed from the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) by Iraqi forces on March 7, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

ISIL captured the building on June 11, 2014, taking 49 people hostage, including Turkey’s consul to the city, Öztürk Yılmaz.

The 49 were eventually freed 101 days later on Sept. 20, 2014.

Meanwhile, military officer Jabbar Hassan said Iraqi forces had launched a dawn offensive during which they seized control of a government building in western Mosul.

“[Iraqi forces] have liberated the main government complex of Nineveh province,” Lt.-Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Mosul operation, said in a televised statement on March 7.

“Our forces have advanced along the Tigris River and captured al-Horeya Bridge, which links western Mosul to the city’s eastern part,” he said.

In mid-February, Iraqi forces – backed by a U.S.-led air coalition – began fresh operations aimed at purging ISIL militants from western Mosul.

The offensive came as part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which ISIL overran, along with much of northern and western Iraq, in mid-2014.