Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government troops began Sunday the invasion of western Mosul’s Old City district, the last Is bastion in the region, military media reported.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the army’s 9th division consummated the recapture of Zanjili district from the south, and invaded Bab Sinjar, one of the entrances of the Old City, the medieval area home to the Grand Nuri Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader proclaimed the group’s rule in Iraq in 2014.
Iraqi troops recaptured Zanjili on Saturday and made incursions in neighboring al-Shifa district, killing dozens of militants and destroying several combat equipment. Both were the last regions remaining under IS control around the Old City.
Commanders from the Iraqi leadership and the allied U.S.-led coalition say there are less than 1000 fighters remaining in the Old City, but holding at least 200.000 civilians captives in dire conditions and shooting dead those who attempt to flee.
Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and aimed at the western side of the city starting February 19th.
The conflict has displaced at least 800.000 civilians since the start of the campaign to retake the city in October, according to Iraqi migration authorities’ figures.