Eight Islamic State members, including leader, killed in northwestern Mosul

FILE PHOTO – Federal police members fire a rocket at Islamic State fighters’ positions during a battle at Jada district in western Mosul. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Mosul ( An Islamic State leader and seven others were killed during battles in the northwest of Mosul, according to Federal Police.

“Troops resumed its advance in the northwest of Mosul to reach the bank of the river [Tigris] and besiege al-Jisr al-Khamis region, north of the Old City,” Lt.Gen. Shaker Jawdat said in statements on Thursday.

“Eight IS members, including a leader called Abu Huthaifa al-Hadidi, in charge of al-Zanjili and Ras al-Jadda regions, were killed,” he added.

In previous statements on Thursday, Jawdat said the troops were advancing from the northwestern axis towards Haramat area, and had recaptured Hassouna village and the “Nineveh gas lab”.

A military commander told Reuters earlier that armed forces opened a new front against Islamic State in Mosul on Thursday, advancing on the militants’ enclave from the northwest.

The militants are now besieged in the northwestern corner of Mosul embracing the historic Old City centre and the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, from which the group’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave a famous sermon in 2014 declaring the establishment of the ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria.

Eastern Mosul was recaptured in January after three months of battles. A major offensive was launched in February to retake the western flank.

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