Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

  • Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Earlier this week, a senior commander said Iraqi forces have managed to liberate two-thirds of Mosul's Old City from the grip of ISIS terrorists as they are engaged in fierce street battles to purge the country's second largest city of the militants.

On June 22, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said the announcement that Mosul is liberated from terrorists may be made within days.

The fall of the northern Iraqi city would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" proclaimed by Daesh in June 2014.

The attacks also underscore the security threat that IS will likely pose, long after the militant group is routed from all of Mosul and other territory it holds in Iraq.

TRT World's Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

The Old City's stone buildings date mostly from the medieval period. Despite the fact that ISIS now faces a stark new operational reality with less territory under its control and having suffered major symbolic and tactical losses, it is premature to conclude that the struggle against ISIS is over because numerous factors that contributed to its rise remain.

Due to intense fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants and ongoing airstrikes, Farouq district in Old Mosul lies in ruins.

Up to 350 militants are estimated by the Iraqi military to be dug in in the Old City among civilians in wrecked houses and crumbling infrastructure. ISIS uses vehicle bombs as well as snipers to hamper the advances of the Iraqi army.

Those residents who have escaped say numerous civilians trapped behind ISIS lines - put at 50,000 by the Iraqi military - are in a desperate situation with little food, water or medicines.

A US-led global coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive.

Darraji, the army general, said one of his soldiers had been killed when he seized a militant wearing a suicide vest amid a crowd of fleeing civilians. 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.

Iraqi troops on Monday captured the al-Faruq quarter, facing the mosque, the military said. "This attack shows that they will soon be defeated in Mosul". The extremist group is using the civilians as human shields.