Iraqi forces seize more ground in Mosul's Old City

Iraqi forces have already gained control of half of Mosul's Old City from Daesh. But the fight is expected to be difficult for the rest where 50,000 residents are still trapped behind enemy lines.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The fall of the northern Iraqi city would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" proclaimed by Daesh in June 2014.

Iraqi forces continue to push deeper into Mosul's Old City, their key target in the eight-month-old campaign to capture Daesh's de facto capital, and Iraq's prime minister predicted victory very soon.

Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged Daesh insurgents from the Ziwani Mosque.

"The victory announcement will come in a very short time," Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said on his website on Monday evening.

The fall of the northern Iraqi city would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" proclaimed by Daesh in June 2014.

The militant group, however, still remains in control of large areas in both Iraq and Syria.

In Syria, the Daesh's capital of Raqqa is virtually encircled by a US-backed coalition.

TRT World’s Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

Challenging battle

Federal police and elite CTS units in Mosul were battling with Daesh fighters in the Old City's maze of narrow alleyways, along with the army and interior ministry units.

Daesh has lost about half the Old City since the battle for the historic district started ten days ago. Now about one square kilometre remains under its control.

The battle to rid the rest of the Old City of Daesh is expected to be difficult as, according to the Iraqi military, 50,000 residents are still trapped behind the militants’ lines.

Source: 
TRTWorld, Reuters