The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Play Video

The New Arab & agencies

Iraqi troops conduct 'mop-up' operations in Mosul after key gains

Iraqi troops were clearing up a key neighbourhood in Mosul on Friday [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 July, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Iraqi troops were clearing up a key neighbourhood in Mosul on Friday, a day after making significant gains against Islamic State group militants in the city.
Iraqi troops were clearing up a key neighbourhood in Mosul on Friday, commanders said, a day after making significant gains against Islamic State [IS] group militants in the city, and after the country’s prime minister declared an end to the extremist group's self-proclaimed caliphate.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi and Lt. Col. Salam Hussein told AP that their forces were moving into territory previously held by IS in the Old City after capturing the hugely symbolic al-Nuri Mosque on Thursday, following a dawn push into the Mosul neighbourhood.

Al-Saadi said his forces were also continuing to push forward from the Old City and on Friday reached within 700 meters of the Tigris River, which divides Mosul roughly into eastern and western halves.

The mosque and its famed 12th century minaret were blown up by IS last week - an indication, the Iraqi government said, of the militants' imminent loss of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

Later on Thursday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the full liberation of the city is near and that Iraq's "brave forces will bring victory".

The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October, with the Iraqi government initially pledging to liberate the city in 2016.

But instead, it has been a long and deadly fight - eight months on, IS holds less than a square mile of the city. Clashes have displaced more than 850,000 people, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

The Old City, with its tightly packed houses and narrow alleys, has seen some of the most difficult urban combat. Damaged and destroyed houses dot the areas retaken by Iraqi forces and the stench of rotting bodies rises from beneath collapsed buildings.

While IS has not confirmed any Mosul losses, its propaganda media arm Aamaq carried reports of fierce fighting on Friday on the city’s outskirts and in the neighbourhoods of Bab Jadid, al-Mashahda and Bab al-Beidh, claiming IS fighters killed more than 50 Iraqi soldiers there.

Though IS claims are often exaggerated, the fact that the reports made no mention of the Old City was significant and could be interpreted as indirect confirmation of losses there.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More