Mosul Battle To End In Days As Troops Advance In Old City, Says Iraqi General
The battle to take full control of Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS) will be over in a few days after an attempted fight-back by the militants failed, an Iraqi general said on Monday (June 26).
"Only a small part [ISIS] remains in the city, and specifically the Old City. All the Iraqi forces have linked up along al-Faruq Street and God willing the operation is ongoing and the final stage will be launched to reach the [Tigris] river," commander of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services (CTS), Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, told Reuters.
The commander added that the Mosul battle would end “in a few days.”
The Counter Terrorism Services is leading the fight in the densely populated maze of narrow alleyways of the historic district which lies by the western bank of the Tigris River.
Iraqi forces came up against a fierce ISIS counter attack on Sunday (June 26) as the militants attacked al-Tanak, al-Hermet and al-Yarmouk neighborhoods before Iraqi forces were able to foil the attack.
A U.S.-led international coalition is providing air and ground support in the months long offensive in Mosul, ISIS’ de-facto capital in Iraq.
The U.S.-trained Iraqi urban warfare units initially channeled their onslaught along two perpendicular streets that converge in the heart of the Old City, aiming to isolate the jihadist insurgents in four pockets.
Iraqi military estimates up to 350 militants are besieged in the Old City, dug in the middle of civilians in crumbling houses and making extensive use of booby traps, suicide bombers and sniper fire to slow down the troops.