Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Federal Police Command has declared killing dozens of Islamic State militants, as the troops advanced by 300 meters toward the Grand Nuri mosque in Mosul’s Old City.
“Our troops in the Old City launched limited attacks and approached by 300 meters toward Nuri mosque from Qadhib al-Ban side,” Lt.Gen. Shaker Jawdat, chief of Federal Police, said in statements on Thursday.
The Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque is the place at which Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave his famous sermon in 2014 declaring the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The forces, according to Jawdat, “killed dozens of terrorists including the leader abu Faisal al-Jabouri and destroyed eight booby-trapped motorbikes and three other vehicles in al-Farouq region.”
“Five passageways were combed in Bab al-Jedid to be used for evacuation of civilians,” he added.
In February, Iraqi government forces, backed by the international coalition led by the U.S. and the paramilitary forces, launched an offensive to retake western Mosul. The eastern side of the city was recaptured in January after three months of battles that started in October.
Earlier this month, Iraqi troops announced that Islamic State members were only in control over less than seven percent of territory in Iraq.
The U.S.-led coalition later estimated the total number of the remaining militants at less than 1000 fighters in the city.