ISIS fighters trapped as Iraqi forces retake third of west Mosul

  • ISIS fighters trapped as Iraqi forces retake third of west Mosul

ISIS fighters trapped as Iraqi forces retake third of west Mosul

He said nine Daesh militants were killed in clashes with Iraqi forces in the city's western part.

Iraqi forces have recaptured around 30 percent of west Mosul from the Islamic State (IS), an Iraqi general said on Sunday, expressing confidence over the outcome of their battle against the jihadists.

The general said he expected the fighting there to be completed in the coming hours. The commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) continued their advance inside the neighbourhoods of Aghawat and Risala in the west of the old city centre.

Terrorists used auto bombs in their nighttime counter-attack around the governorate building, Major General Ali Kadhem al-Lami of the Federal Police's Fifth Division told a Reuters correspondent near the site.

Iraqi paramilitary forces announced Saturday that they had discovered a mass grave at Badush prison near Mosul containing the remains of hundreds of people executed by the Islamic State group.

So far, about 60% of western Mosul has been liberated, according to a map from Iraq's Joint Operations Command.

Iraqi forces were facing difficulty in storming the Bab al-Tob area of the Old City, where the fight is expected to be tough due to its narrow alleyways through which armored vehicles can not pass.

In addition to carrying out strikes targeting ISIS, the US-led coalition has trained almost 90,000 members of the Iraqi security forces, the U.S. envoy said.

As many as 600,000 civilians are trapped with the militants inside the city which Iraqi forces have effectively sealed off from the rest of the territory ISIS controls in Syria and Iraq.

Brett McGurk, the senior USA official in the counter-IS coalition, issued the warning after Iraqi forces cut off the last road out of the city, trapping IS fighters inside.

The efforts to avoid damaging some antiquities contrast with the destruction of ancient sites across Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, from the desert city of Palmyra to the Assyrian capital of Nimrud, south of Mosul.

Now, Iraqi forces have regrouped and ISIS has been beaten back.

Daesh seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in mid-2014. Thousands of Iraqi civilians have died in the fighting since October, and a total of more than 200,000 in total displaced from their homes.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption People leave the village of Badoush as the battle between Iraqi forces and IS intensifies Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Iraqi forces target IS positions near Badoush, some 15km (9.3 miles) northwest of Mosul What happened at the prison?