Mosul (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State has begun deploying women snipers to hold off advancing Iraqi troops in some areas of western Mosul, while exhibiting fierce resistance at one district.
Security sources have been quoted saying snipers from IS’s notorious “al-Khansaa” women battalion had been deployed above tall buildings to shoot at security troops, but did not name the exact districts where the step was taken.
Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency quoted security commanders saying that IS fighters were fighting back fiercely at al-Yarmouk district, where intense battles between the group and security forces have been undergoing over the past few days. They added that battles left casualties on both sides.
Brig. Gen. Mostafa al-Khazraji, from the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response forces, told the agency that IS launched three booby-trapped cars towards security forces at Yarmouk, leaving three members dead and a few others wounded.
He said the suicide attacks were followed by gun and mortar assaults, forcing troops to retreat to the outskirts of Yarmouk waiting for a aerial intervention that would pave the way for a fresh ground invasion.
Meanwhile, 32 IS members and eight security troopers were killed in an attack on Federal Police and Rapid Response troops in Orouba region, southwest of Mosul, Lt. Dergham Khafaji todl Anadolu Agency. He added that the fighters were attempting to tap into bad weather to carry out the attack which lasted for more than three consecutive hours.
Three other officers were killed in a drone attack by IS on a military deployment near the Nineveh Governorate building in central Mosul, Maj. Alaa al-Zahri, from the Rapid Response force, told Anadolu Agency.
Iraqi government forces retook eastern Mosul from IS in January, and launched an offensive mid February to retake the west, where security commanders have said they had taken over 60 percent of territory.