Iraqi Forces Take Back 'Majority' of Old City of Mosul

Iraqi Forces Take Back 'Majority' of Old City of Mosul

Iraqi Forces Take Back 'Majority' of Old City of Mosul

Iraqi troops captured on Monday the neighborhood of al-Faruq in the northwestern side of the Old City, facing the mosque, the military said.

TRT World's Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

Daesh has lost about half the Old City since the battle for the historic district started ten days ago.

The territory that the Islamic State group still holds in Mosul has been reduced to an area that now amounts to about 2 square kilometers (0.8 square miles) in the ancient Old City district.

Iraqi government forces have pushed deeper into the Old City of Mosul as they are nearing the end of their eight-month campaign to capture the de-facto capital of Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the crisis-hit Arab country and drive the extremists out of the strategic northern city.

The June 14 assault was carried out by more than 100 IS militants and killed 11 Iraqi policemen and four civilians in clashes that lasted hours. They are trying to slow the advance of Iraqi forces by laying booby traps and using suicide bombers and snipers.

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Those residents who have escaped say numerous civilians trapped behind Islamic State lines - put at 50,000 by the Iraqi military - have little food, water or medicines.

A US-led global coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive. Hundreds of civilians fleeing the Old City have been killed in the past month. Troops ducked into narrow alleyways, through bright courtyards and up balconies to reach positions with a view of the now destroyed grand Al-Nouri Mosque.

Aid organizations say Islamic State has stopped many civilians from leaving, using them as human shields.

But despite staggering territorial losses, IS has managed to launch a number of counterattacks and insurgent assaults inside some Mosul neighborhoods that were retaken from IS earlier this month.

Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha'abi, have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.

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