Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Federal Police have declared killing dozens of Islamic State militants and destroying their anti-aircraft weapons as the troops advanced toward al-Haramat al-Thaniya district, in central Mosul, on Sunday.
Clashes erupted between the Rapid Response forces and the militants while combing al-Haramat, according to Lt.Gen. Shaker Jawdat, chief of the Federal Police.
The troops, according to Jawdat, “killed dozens of IS members, blew up several booby-trapped vehicles, destroyed three anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition stash and defused 50 bombs.”
Jawdat added that the troops advanced toward al-Haramat al-Thaniya reached near al-Jisr al-Khamis regions in central Mosul.
Speaking to Youm 7 news website, Jawdat said the troops are besieging the Grand al-Nuri al-Kabeer mosque, located in the Old City. The militants are taking shelter through thousands of the civilians in the densely-populated city.
The troops are 300 meters away from the mosque, which is besieged from three axis. Jawdat said, adding that the troops are now in control of the high buildings.
Meanwhile, Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces, revealed ‘strategic’ changes to liberate the rest of the western side of Mosul.
“Strategic changes to the military plan will eliminate the presence of IS in Mosul,” according to Assadi, who did not rule out possibility of changing the locations of the military units at the final phase of fighting in the city.