Iraqi military tanks advance towards the Islamic State-held Old City in western Mosul, Iraq June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi forces repelled on Tuesday an attempt by Islamic State militants to retake areas under security control in western Mosul as forces moved deeper in the group’s last enclave.
A security source told Shafaq News that Iraqi warplanes killed 23 IS members who were trying to sneak into al-Dindan district, south of the Old City, IS’s last enclave in Mosul. The source added that the militants were planning to take over government buildings including the courthouse and the local police department.
Iraqi forces took over Dindan district in March.
Iraqi forces, which invaded the medieval Old City district on Sunday, are primarily eyeing the Nuri al-Kabeer Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed taking over a third of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Iraqi forces took over eastern Mosul in January and have been sweeping through the western side since mid February.
A few hundred IS fighters are believed to be entrenching in the Old City, seeking protection in the middle of 100.000 civilians who are believed to be used as human shields and shot dead once trying to escape.