Iraqi military sources said on Sunday that ISIS militants began to spread snipers in the old city of Mosul, along with car bombs and suicide bombers.
Iraqi forces are advancing cautiously towards the old city of Mosul, amid clashes between Iraqi forces and ISIS in the neighborhood of the medical city and Ibn Sina Hospital.
Major General Maan al-Saadi, commander of second special operations anti-terrorism forces, said that his forces have recovered almost half of the neighborhood of Al Sehha, adding that it is not possible to set a time limit to end the battle, because on the ground there are many variables.
Saadi revealed that ISIS began to use women in the fight, after having lost many of its men.
The Iraqi military sources confirmed that the area ISIS controls in the western side of the city of Mosul has shrunk to only 5 percent, expecting to move into the decisive stage of the battle by the first half of next month, according to Al Arabiya channel on Sunday.
The joint Iraqi forces have also begun a new operation to wrest the last three neighborhoods - Al Shifa, Al Zenjeely, and Al Sehha - in western Mosul from ISIS’s control. They say they aim to tighten the siege on the old city with its complex and narrow alleys, which will be the place where ISIS is wiped out in Iraq.
When the operation was launched, Iraqi forces managed to control the third bridge connecting the two sides of Tigris and Mosul International Hotel in Al Shifa district, after violent clashes between the two sides.
The control of the hotel building, according to military estimates, gave Iraqi forces the advantage of spreading snipers to target the militants’ armed men in nearby areas.
The battles between the Iraqi army and ISIS elements resulted in the deaths of dozens of fighters from both sides.
Iraqi commanders killed
Iraqi sources said that among the dead were two field commanders of the Iraqi army, Colonel Abdul Baqi Dhahi al-Saadoun, and Colonel Ahmed Kazem al-Tamimi of the 3rd Infantry Brigade.
Military sources did not disclose the circumstances of their deaths.
In a related context, the Izzidiyoun fighters took control of the village of Kujo, west of Mosul, from the People's Mobilization Force in the presence of Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yar Allah, commander of the military campaign to liberate Mosul from ISIS.
The village was taken from ISIS two days ago, and is an extension of the south of Qada’ Sinjar, where the Yazidis are in the majority.