Iraqi Forces Regain 70 Percent Of Mosul’s Old City, Says Senior Commander

Iraqi Forces Regain 70 Percent Of Mosul’s Old City, Says Senior Commander

Iraqi forces have regained 70 percent of Mosul’s Old City from Islamic State (ISIS) a senior Iraqi commander said on Sunday (June 25).

Speaking to AFP, Lieutenant Colonel Salam al-Obeidi said that there were only a few hundred ISIS fighters holed up in the remaining ISIS-held areas in the Old City.

"Sixty-five to 70 percent of the Old City has been liberated, there is less than a square kilometer left to retake," al-Obeidi, who is part of Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told AFP.

The U.S.-trained Iraqi urban warfare units have been channeling their onslaught along two perpendicular streets that converge in the heart of the Old City, aiming to isolate the jihadist insurgents in four pockets.

More than 100,000 civilians, of whom half are believed to be children, remain trapped in the crumbling old houses of the Old City, with little food, water or medical treatment.

The urban-warfare forces have been leading the campaign to clear the Sunni Islamist militants from the maze of Old City alleyways, moving on foot house-to-house in locations too cramped for the use of armored combat vehicles.

The fighting in the Old City is becoming the deadliest battle in the months-long offensive to capture Mosul, ISIS' de facto capital in Iraq.