The Iraqi Army said on Wednesday that it has recaptured two neighborhoods - Al-Sadeh and Al-Ahmadiya - in Mosul’s Old City.
Al Arabiya News Channel also reported on Wednesday that ISIS militants are hiding in few houses loaded with explosives as the countdown to liberate a small remaining portion of the militant-occupied Iraqi city of Mosul begins.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said ISIS militants are still in control of half of Mosul’s Old City but are mainly centered in Al-Sarjkhana and Al-Meedan neighborhoods, while using the narrow streets and alleys to stave off further advances by the Iraqi forces.
Old Mosul is located in the western side of Mosul. The operation to recapture western Mosul started on February 19, a few weeks after dislodging ISIS from the city’s eastern side.
Al-Sarjkhana and Al-Meedan are now completely blocked by the Iraqi forces, who are now readying to launch their final offensive to fully liberate the entire city of Mosul from the ISIS grip. Iraqi forces have also managed to allow civilians to safely flee, after targeting ISIS snipers.
The Iraqi forces’ airstrikes so far have destroyed ISIS’s defenses and eliminated militants who were transferring arms through alleys on motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense’s War Media Cell said on Wednesday that Iraqi forces have foiled an attempt by five militants to swim and cross over from the Old City to reach the liberated left side of the city.
The militants were carrying arms in a rubber container. The Iraqi forces he five militants after they ignored calls ordering them to surrender.
Iraqi authorities said on Tuesday that they had captured 50 per cent of Mosul’s Old City from ISIS.
Iraqi forces had about 600 meters (2,000 ft) of ground left to cover before reaching Mosul’s Corniche road along the western bank of the Tigris, federal police commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat told Iraqi State TV.
“In a few days, our forces will reach the Corniche and bring the battle to its conclusion,” said Jawdat.
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