UPDATE: western Mosul’s Yarmouk district recaptured, 42 IS militants killed

An Iraqi fighter jet

Mosul ( Iraqi forces recaptured a new district in western Mosul from the Islamic State Thursday, while 42 militants died in airstrikes that targeted their locations.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, chief of the Joint Operations Command operations in Nineveh, said Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces took over Yarmouk al-Thania district and raised Iraqi flags above its buildings.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Iraqi Defense Ministry said Iraqi army fighter jets pounded Islamic State locations in the Old City and Yarmouk district, adding that the strikes killed 42 militants and destroyed several combat equipment belonging to the group.

Yarmouk district, western Mosul (google maps).

Iraqi government forces, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led coalition, recaptured eastern Mosul from IS in January after three months of fighting, and launched another offensive mid February to retake the western region.

Dozens of Islamic State senior leaders died in airstrikes and ground offensives over the past few days.

Troops have been struggling to fully retake central Mosul’s Old City, a densely-populated and structured area which generals view as vital for victory over IS.

Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jubouri, head of the Joint Operations Command’s Mosul operations, said in statements on Wednesday that his troops have become in control over 90 percent of the “western axis”, and continue to advance in central Mosul.

Iraqi and coalition generals, though admitting the difficulty of the battle for the western region, said IS powers were waning, and that its members had no choice but to fight to death.

The conflict in Mosul has displaced at least 430.000 since operations launched in October, with more than 200.000 having fled the western region alone.

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