Iraqi Army Actively Preparing for Liberation of Nineveh Province

© Flickr / DVIDSHUBIraqi Army Soldiers learn how to operate, maintain M1A1 tanks
Iraqi Army Soldiers learn how to operate, maintain M1A1 tanks - Sputnik International
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The Iraqi army is planning the liberation of the northern Nineveh province from the Islamic State militants, Iraq's Defense Minister Khaled Obaidi said in a statement Wednesday.

DUBAI, October 14 (Sputnik) — ISIL took control over Nineveh and its capital Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in June 2014.

"The work continues night and day, to develop plans to prepare military units for the liberation of the [Nineveh] province and, if possible, to avoid civilian casualties and to maintain infrastructure," Obaidi said.

An Iraqi army member mans a tank on the outskirts of Baiji refinery north of Tikrit, during a joint operation between the army and popular mobilisation units to retake the remaining area of the Baiji oil refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on May 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
Iraqi Army Liberates Major Oil Refinery in City of Baiji From ISIL

The minister said assistance from the local population would be necessary to successfully liberate the province.

The Iraqi army is currently in the second phase of a military operation to liberate the central province of Salah al-Din. On Wednesday, the military reportedly retook the country's largest oil refinery in the central city of Baiji.

© AP Photo / Militant website via AP, FileIn this photo released on Sunday, June 28, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant waves his group's flag as he and another celebrate in Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad
In this photo released on Sunday, June 28, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant waves his group's flag as he and another celebrate in Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad - Sputnik International
In this photo released on Sunday, June 28, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant waves his group's flag as he and another celebrate in Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad
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