Iraqi General Says Mosul's Old City Fully Retaken From IS

Kristopher Drake
July 9, 2017

The jihadists that remain in Mosul are fighting to the death in a tiny area of just two blocks of the Old City next to the Tigris, Sofge said, and those that remain are "desperate".

During those seven months, he said he witnessed a "measurable escalation" in ISIS's use of human shields as Iraqi troops pushed further into the city.

Dozens of Iraqi soldiers celebrated amid the rubble on the banks of the Tigris river without waiting for a formal victory declaration, some dancing to music blaring out from a truck and firing machine guns into the air.

Artillery explosions and gunfire could still be heard during Saturday afternoon and a column of smoke billowed over the Old City riverside.

According to a Reuters report, a military spokesman said the defence lines of Isis were crumbling.

Adhel Abu Ragheef, a Baghdad-based expert on jihadist groups, said Islamic State was likely to carry out "more of these raid-type attacks on security forces to try to divert them away from the main battle", now in Mosul and then in other areas west of Mosul including near the Syrian border still under IS control.

With the liberation of Old Mosul, the Iraqi government will likely declare that it has a full control over the city. Around 20,000 civilians have been trapped in the fierce fighting, including air strikes by the USA led coalition.

Iraqi forces backed by a USA -led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October 2016.

Iraqi forces also claim that they have killed a number of ISIS militants as they tried to flee.

Some 900,000 people have been displaced from the city since 2014 - about half the the pre-war population- aid organisations say.

The United Nations predicts it will cost more than $1-billion to fix basic infrastructure in Mosul.

In some of the worst-hit areas, nearly no buildings appeared to have escaped damage and Mosul's dense construction means the extent of the devastation might be underestimated, United Nations officials said. The U.S. -led operation to retake Mosul began and October and has already displaced some 87,000 people.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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