Iraqi military pushes deeper into Mosul's Old City

Iraqi military pushes deeper into Mosul's Old City

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi predicted that US-backed Iraqi forces were just a few days away from ousting the last Islamic State forces from their last positions in Mosul's Old City, a campaign that has lasted eight months. Daesh is still in control of the mosque's ground.

The fall of the northern Iraqi city would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" proclaimed by ISIS, though the militant group remains in control of large areas of both Iraq and Syria.

The attacks also underscore the security threat Daesh will likely pose long after the Takfiri group is routed from all of Mosul and other territories it holds in Iraq.

TRT World's Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

Members of the Iraqi federal police hold position during an armed exchange as smoke billows in the background while advancing through the Old City of Mosul on June 28, 2017, as the offensive continues to retake the last district held by Daesh terrorists. 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.

Amid the progress of the Iraqi forces in Mosul, militants of the Islamic State launched series of suicide attacks after setting homes and cars ablaze in Tanak and Yarmouk districts, Western Mosul.

The army's 16th infantry division captured Hadarat al-Saada and al-Ahmadiyya, the military said in a statement.

A United States-led worldwide coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight- month-old offensive.

The military estimates up to 350 militants are dug in among civilians in wrecked houses and crumbling infrastructure. They are trying to slow the advance of Iraqi forces by laying booby traps and using suicide bombers and snipers.

But hundreds of civilians have been killed in the past month as they tried to flee the Old City. It has lost its fighting spirit and its balance.

Aid organizations say Islamic State has stopped many civilians from leaving, using them as human shields.

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