TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iraqi forces have made major advances in their battle to liberate the city of Mosul from Daesh, retaking control of at least five villages in the city in northern Iraq.

According to the Shafaq News website, Iraq’s Kurdish Peshmerga fighters captured the villages of Shaqoli, al-Badana al-Kobra and al-Badana al-Soghra to the east of Mosul on Monday, Press TV reported.

The forces had earlier purged the villages of Basakhr and Kharabet Soltan, a security source said, adding that the forces had also managed to cut off the main road linking Mosul and Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The news website also said the Popular Mobilization Units, also known by its Arabic name al-Hashed al-Sha’abi, have fired artillery shells at the terrorists’ positions in southern Mosul.

Al Iraqiya TV channel said the Iraqi air force has been continuing its airstrikes on the positions of Daesh terrorists in the city.

The TV channel added the Iraqi troops have destroyed all of the defensive lines of the terrorist group in southern Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operations to liberate Mosul from Daesh terrorists on Sunday.

The city fell to the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in June 2014 shortly after they unleashed a campaign of terror and destruction in the northern and western parts of Iraq.

Forces from al-Hashed al-Sha’abi as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters will back the Iraqi army in the final push to liberate Mosul, the last major Daesh stronghold in Iraq.