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BAGHDAD – Iraq's prime minister says government forces have recaptured a key air base in northern Iraq from the Islamic State group.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi describes the recapture of the Qayara air base as "important" to the long-awaited military operation to retake the IS-held city of Mosul. The town of Qayara is located southeast of Mosul.
Al-Abadi called on "the residents of Mosul to get ready to liberate their city."
In late March, the Iraqi military, backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft, launched an operation to recapture several towns and villages to the east and south of Mosul to cut the city's supply lines.