Iraqi forces retake half of last IS-held district near Mosul’s Old City

Members of Iraqi Federal Police carry their weapon at the frontline during a battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Mosul ( Iraqi troops took over a half of the last district held by the Islamic State near the Old City in western Mosul, an Iraqi officer was quoted saying on Sunday.

Maj. Ali Mohsen, from the Iraqi Federal Police service, told BasNews that security troops took over 50 percent of al-Shifa neighborhood, the last one remaining under IS control adjacent to the Old City, its last entrenchment in Mosul.

Mohsen said forces imposed their control over major alleyways and streets in al-Shifa, and killed three foreign snipers fighting for IS.

He added that forces opened fire at a school in the district where militants were seeking shelter, killing several of them, including the area’s media official. He revealed that IS members were withdrawing towards the Old City.

Zanjili district, western Mosul (google maps)

Hours earlier, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the army’s 9th division consummated the recapture of Zanjili district from the south, and invaded Bab Sinjar, one of the entrances of the Old City. The medieval area is home to the Grand Nuri Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader proclaimed the group’s rule in Iraq in 2014.

Iraqi troops recaptured Zanjili on Saturday and made incursions in neighboring al-Shifa district, killing dozens of militants and destroying several combat  equipment. Both were the last regions remaining under IS control around the Old City.


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