Police Commander Says Capture Of Mosul To Be Completed Soon

Police Commander Says Capture Of Mosul To Be Completed Soon

Forces of Iraq's federal police repelled on Monday (May 1) an attack by Islamic State (ISIS) militants on their defensive lines south of Mosul's Old City, a commander said.

Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Zghayer, commander of the 3rd regiment, 9th brigade of the federal police said that his forces responded using heavy weapons, inflicting losses among the attacking forces.

Zghayer echoed an earlier statement by the army's chief of staff, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanmi who said he expected to dislodge ISIS from Mosul in May despite resistance from militants in the densely populated Old City district.

The battle should be completed "in a maximum of three weeks", the army's chief of staff, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanmi, was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper al-Sabah on Sunday (April 30).

A U.S.-led international coalition is providing air and ground support for the offensive in Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq, which fell to hardline Sunni Muslim fighters in June 2014.

Al-Baghdadi and other ISIS leaders have left the city but estimates say around 200-300 fighters remain inside, resisting with snipers hiding among the population, car bombs and suicide trucks targeting Iraqi positions.

Some 400,000 civilians remain trapped inside the densely-populated Old City where street battles have raged for weeks.