Iraqi troops push for last area of Mosul

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, July 10, 2017
Comments Off

Iraqi forces slowly advanced today to retake the last patch of ground in Mosul where Islamic State militants are holding on to a tiny sliver of the Old City, west of the Tigris River, a day after the prime minister visited the soldiers to congratulate troops on the hard-fought battle.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the Iraqi special forces said that said even after his men, closely backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, retake the last areas of IS control, clearing operations in Mosul will continue to rid the city of sleeper cells and booby-trapped explosives.

Iraqi commanders say they believe hundreds of IS fighters remain inside the neighborhood and are using their families âincluding women and children — as human shields in a fight to the death that has slowed recent Iraqi gains to a crawl.

“There’s no accurate estimate for the Daesh fighters and the families who are stuck there,” said Lt. Gen. Abdul-Ghani al-Asadi, a senior special forces commander, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

He said most civilians left in the Old City are believed to be IS family members. “But we will not accuse them of anything,” he continued, “if they don’t carry weapons they are civilians.”

Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, fell to the Islamic State group in 2014, when IS blitzed across much of northwestern Iraq and subsequently declared a caliphate on the territory held by extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.