"Iraqi forces have retaken 61 villages, liberated some 1,400 kilometers of land, and evacuated about 1,396 displaced families since the start of the Mosul operation,” Lt. Gen. Raed Shakir Jawdat said in a statement on Iraqi state television.

"At least 747 Daesh terrorists have been killed and 88 others arrested during the operation," he added, but gave no figures for losses suffered by the Iraqi army.

On Oct. 18, the Iraqi army – backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes –launched a much-anticipated operation to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.

While most of the villages on the city’s outskirts have since fallen, Daesh remains in control of Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in northern Iraq.

Anadolu Agency