Iraqi Troops Control over 1/3 of Western Mosul — Iraqi Military Officers

Trevor Jackson
March 20, 2017

As many as 600,000 civilians are thought to still be in the Old City along with the militants.

Iraqi government forces killed the Daesh commander of Mosul's Old City yesterday as the battle for the militants' last stronghold in Iraq continued, with Iraqi forces also successfully capturing a third bridge over the Tigris River.

Khanjar said the mounting casualties came mainly from air strikes and indiscriminate shelling of heavily crowded neighborhoods as the U.S trained elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) forces push deeper into the Old City and city center.

Federal police killed the military commander of the Old City, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, during operations to clear Bab al-Tob district, a federal police officer said.

Mosul's fall would deal a significant blow to IS.

Iraqi government forces fire a rocket towards Islamic State group positions in west Mosul on Monday.

"We are often literally in the same house, on the roof, and Daesh (Islamic State) is downstairs".

"We [are] moving on the old bridge. and then we will free that area and hopefully in a few days we'll liberate the west side of Mosul", a captain from the security forces said. All of them have been damaged by the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) militants as well as US-led air strikes. Tens of thousands have been pouring into camps outside Mosul.

In mid-2014, when ISIS seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group took Mosul, once considered the terrorist group's de facto capital in Iraq, much like what Raqqa is to the jihadist group in Syria.astern Mosul fell to the anti-ISIS U.S. -backed offensive of almost 100,000 Iraqi government troops, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and Iran-backed Shiite militias, among other fighters.

"It's very key for our forces to secure the riverside and prevent Daesh militants from turning around our advancing forces", a Rapid Response spokesman said.

Heavy fighting was also reported around Mosul Museum by journalists and combatants. Some pushed children and sick elderly relatives in handcarts and wheelbarrows.

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Some have been taken by army trucks to processing areas but many have to wait.

Soldiers from the 9th Armored Division scored an important victory on Saturday night when they cut the last road out of west Mosul, said Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global anti-IS coalition.

"Unless there is a political process that restores confidence of Sunnis in the a post-Daesh phase there may emerge more organizations of terrorists that are even more extreme than Daesh", he said.

"We now believe that we are killing so many of their fighters that they are not able to replace them".

More than 65,000 of them fled their homes over the past two weeks, the organisation said. Food had been scarce, they said.

"It was street-by-street - now it's house-by-house", a member of the Iraqi Security Forces told Reuters. western Mosul has much narrower streets than the east, rendering some of the Iraqi's armored humvee's useless.

More than 300,000 Mosul residents have been displaced since the start of the campaign in October.

According to the IOM, more than 238,000 people are now displaced due to fighting in the Mosul area, while more fled but later returned to their homes. "We are facing stiff resistance from Daesh fighters with snipers and mortars", an Iraqi official said.

In practice, IS fighters may still be able to sneak in and out of the city in small numbers, but the lack of access to roads makes larger-scale movement and resupply more hard, if not impossible.

He also financed local tribal Sunni groups that fought Islamic State when it first emerged in strength in Iraq. It would break the militant group's hold on territory in Iraq and end its control over half the "caliphate", which once spanned from northern Syria through western Iraq.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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