Iraqi forces have made new progress in the old city west of Mosul. However, the end of fighting has not yet been determined due to the difficulty of access to some narrow areas and the presence of civilians. The Iraqi forces began the raid on Mosul since 18 June, to expel the “Islamic State” of the city.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi forces continue to control new areas of the Old City in western Mosul as part of their operations to expel the Islamic state from its last location in Iraq’s second-largest city, military officials said on Sunday.
More than eight months after the start of the largest military operation in Iraq to restore Mosul, the organization of the “Islamic State” has been confined within a small area in the old city, having been in control of large territory since 2014.
“The number of Da’ash fighters we get through the source or coalition information ranges from more than 300 fighters, mostly European nationalities and Arabs of other nationalities or of Asian origin,” said Brigadier General Nabil al-Fatlawi.
“We can not say when the battles will end because of the narrow streets in the Old City and the presence of civilians in the Old City, but I can say within days,” he said.
The Joint Operations Command of Iraq announced in a statement earlier that “the anti-terrorist forces liberate the area of the mosque in the old city.”
Although the area still controlled by the organization is very small, the narrow alleys and streets and the presence of civilians inside make the military operation risky.
On Saturday, Iraqi forces seized control of a medical compound north of the Old City, after long battles, to isolate the organization of the “Islamic State” currently surrounding its perimeter outside the square of the old city.
Some members of the Iraqi forces expressed their frustration at the restrictions on the use of heavy weapons against some facilities such as hospitals, saying that this would prolong efforts to restore them.
“Progress in three axes”
For his part, the Federal Police Chief Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat restored the entire Shifa district , to limit the presence of jihadists currently on the Old City.
“Our forces are advancing in three axes and pursuing terrorist groups in the few remaining areas of the old town,” Jawdat said in a statement.
A suicide bombing in Anbar
On Sunday, 14 people, mostly women and children, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself upinside a camp for displaced Iraqis in Anbar province, security and medical sources said.
The Islamic State still controls areas in western Anbar, although Iraqi forces have been able to expel it from major cities in Ramadi, Falluja and other parts of the province.
France 24 / AFP
Published on: 03/07/2017