TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Iraqi Federal Police Force backed by Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces, retook a village near the Tigris River southwest of Mosul from Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorists.

As part of a massive operation to retake the last major stronghold of Daesh in Iraq, the Arab contrary’s forces retook control over al-Safina village and reached the banks of the Tigris southwest of Mosul, according to the Arabic-languagec Al Mayadeen TV.

Meanwhile, severe clashes are underway between the Iraqi army troops and Daesh terrorists in al-Hamdaniya District east of Mosul.

In another development, the Iraqi forces retook Qaraqosh, a Christian town near Mosul, and hoisted the Iraqi flag above a government building in the city.

Qaraqosh, about 20 kms (13 miles) southeast of Mosul, was emptied of its population in 2014, when Daesh swept through the region.

The Iraqi army launched the offensive on October 16 aimed at wresting Mosul from the hands of Daesh.

“The time has come for the greatest victory,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said late Sunday on state TV. “I announce the start of Liberating Mosul Operation, by the will of Iraqis, and after depending on Allah.”

Al-Abadi said that Daesh would be “punished” for its crimes and that the province's cities and villages will be rebuilt.

Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the Daesh terrorist group.

Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive.