Iraqi Christian fighters raise the cross on the churches of Bartella after its liberation from ISIS

Iraqi Security Forces continue to progress on Mosul’s eastern axis. The most recent and major gain lies at Bartella, which is a majority Christian town, just east of the city. Iraqi Christian fighters show their delight at finally reclaiming their land and ring the church bells of the town after two years of ISIS oppression.

The liberation of Bartella comes as Elite Counter Terrorism Forces make advancements on Bazwaya and Gogjali, which lie on the outskirts of the city. Despite recent ISIS counter offensives in al-Rutba and Kirkuk, the Iraqi Security Forces, in conjunction with the Peshmerga, are making “better than expected” progress, according to Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.