Fierce armed clashes between the advancing Iraqi troops and ISIS militants are taking place around the last four districts the group holds in the western half of Mosul embedded with the Iraqi army in western Mosul, Rudaw’s Ranja Jamal reported on Sunday that heavy confrontations are ongoing in Najar neighborhood as the army managed to break into it the area and have Bab al-Sinjar besieged. Abdulwahab Saadi, an official with the US-trained Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS), told Rudaw that large segments of Najar were controlled by the ICTS forces, who had begun to advance on Bab al-Sinjar. Saadi said ISIS militants were putting up stiff resistance given they are on the brink of final defeat in Mosul. Plumes of smoke could be seen covering the skyline over Najar neighborhood as ISIS was being bombed on the ground and from the air. ICTS officials said in a press conference on Saturday that Najar neighborhood remained for them to liberate and their mission would be accomplished in western Mosul after they took control of 47 neighborhoods in the western half of the city of Mosul in the course of the last three months. Saadi explained to Rudaw that ISIS retains control of just four neighborhoods overall in Mosul, including the Old Mosul district, Shifa, Saha, and Bab al-Sinjar. SIS has placed a large number of militants in these four remaining places, he added. Old Mosul remains the last stronghold of ISIS in the city. In previous battles the army faced strong resistance when they tried to make advances against ISIS militants in Old Mosul, a more densely populated neighborhood with narrow streets. As a result, Iraqi armed forces were forced to shift their focus and instead open a new front in northwestern Mosul. raqi armed forces launched a massive assault on ISIS held districts in northwestern Mosul over the weekend.
Thick smoke could been seen billowing over the Old City of Mosul, near the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, as Iraqi forces advance under the U.S.-backed offensive to capture Islamic State’s (ISIS) de facto capital. The battle to free Mosul – between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces – is now in its seventh month and has taken a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped in neighborhoods inside the city, still under control of the militants. Iraqi forces are making progress in their offensive to expel ISIS from Mosul but face a complicated urban battle as the militants hide in mosques, homes and hospitals, sheltering among civilians in the city in order to evade airstrikes. The war between ISIS and Iraqi forces is taking a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped inside the city, with severely malnourished babies reaching hospitals in government-held areas.
Iraqi forces continued to fight door-to-door in the Old City of Mosul, as the U.S.-backed offensive to capture the Islamic State’s (ISIS) de facto capital in Iraq entered its seventh month. There were exchanges of gunfire and mortar inside the old city near the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, from where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a “caliphate” spanning parts of Iraq and Syria. “Operations are ongoing, thanks God. They [ISIS militants] carry attacks on our defensive lines, but each time we repel them and they run away, leaving bodies of their dead fighters behind. Minutes ago they launched an attack and we responded by shelling them with mortar rounds, killing two of them and their bodies were left in front of our defensive lines”, Colonel Hussein Lazim Zghayer said. The war between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces is taking a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped inside the city, with severely malnourished babies reaching hospitals in government-held areas. About 400,000 civilians, or a quarter of Mosul’s pre-war population, are trapped in the Old City, according to United Nations’ figures.