Iraqi forces storm Christian town near Mosul

– The army says the town will be liberated within hours

– Iraqi forces on Monday swept into a predominantly Christian town south-east of Mosul in northern Iraq, reported Anadolu Agency.

In a statement, the Iraqi army said its troops stormed the Karemlash town.

“The town is expected to be liberated [from Daesh] within the coming hours,” the army said.

Located less than 28 kilometers (18 miles) south-east of Mosul, Karemlash was historically an ancient Assyrian town in northern Iraq.

Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, launched a much-anticipated operation to retake Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq.

Daesh captured Iraq’s second largest city in mid-2014 before overrunning large swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.

In recent weeks, the army and its allies have staged a gradual advance on the city, which officials in Baghdad have vowed to recapture by year’s end.