Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces invaded on Saturday the last neighborhood held by the Islamic State near western Mosul’s Old City, the group’s last entrenchment in the city.
An official military source told Shafaaq News website that arm forces made incursions along 50 meters into al-Shifa neighborhood, entering from nearby Zanjili which government troops took over earlier on the same day.
Federal Police chief Shaker Jawdat said in a statement hours earlier that his forces went on clearing booby-traps from Zanjili district after taking entire control. He said hundreds of militants were killed there, including 49 snipers and 22 suicide bombers.
Iraqi government troops regained control over eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting. Operations for the western side of the city launched in mid February, and Iraqi generals say a few hundreds of IS fighters remain in the Old City as a last refuge.
Iraqi forces began late April to advance towards the enclave from the northwest, having besieged it from the south for weeks to no avail.
The Old City hosts a grand mosque where IS supreme leader abu Bakr al-Baghdadi first declared the establishment of the group’s control over large areas of Iraq in 2014 through a famous sermon.