Iraqi fighter jets reportedly killed 116 Islamic State group fighters during bombing raids on the IS-stronghold city of Mosul on Tuesday, including 67 who were at a meeting in a hotel swimming pool that’s been described as the terrorist group’s war room.
Details of the attacks were reported by Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, which cited the Iraqi war media office. The report says that besides the militants (of several nationalities) killed at the hotel pool, more militants were killed at three other sites, including 10 who were standing guard at a weapons depot, destroying an IS air defense site in the process.
The location of the bombing was the five-star Ninawa Hotel, which IS reopened last year after forcing all hotels in the region under its control to close. The hotel was reopened to host visiting IS commanders, as well as to hold weddings. Several old TripAdvisor reviews praise the wonderful swimming pool and the magnificent views.
The attacks came on the same day that Iraqi special forces entered Mosul for the first time in over two years ago. Having taken full control of the village of Gogjali on the eastern outskirts of Mosul, the Iraqi troops took control of a television station building belonging to a local affiliate of Iraqiya state TV.
“Now is the beginning of the true liberation of the city of Mosul,” Staff General Taleb Sheghati al-Kenani, the commander of the Iraqi special forces, told Iraqiya from Gogjali.
On Wednesday morning AP reported that an officer with the Iraqi forces explained that no advances are planned for the day as high humidity and clouds are obscuring the view of aircraft and drones.