Iraqi forces take over IS’s central hospital in Mosul

A sniper of the Iraqi Federal Police takes his position at a destroyed builiding near Islamic State fighters’ positions at Bab al Jadid district in the old city of Mosul, Iraq, March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Mosul ( Iraqi Federal Police forces took over Islamic State’s main hospital in Mosul’s Old City on Monday as operations near a total recapture of Iraq’s second largest city.

The service’s chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in statements that “Federal Police troops took over Daesh (Islamic State) main medical center in Bab al-Beed, and seized a large amount of medicines”. He said police expanded the scope of operations and opened new battle fronts in Bab Jadid area, and became 350 meters closer to a commercial area in Serjkhana.

Bab al-Jadid neighborhood in the Old City, Mosul

Earlier on Monday, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the army’s Counter-Terrorism Service forces took over al-Farouq, the closest area to the Grand Nuri Mosque from where IS declared its rule in Iraq in 2014.

Iraqi government forces launched a U.S.-backed offensive in October to retake Mosul, managing to liberate the eastern section of the city in January. Operations for the western side launched in February.

Iraqi generals say a few hundred militants are currently besieged within less than one kilometer in the medieval Old City, but holding hundreds of thousands of civilians as human shields. Government and military officials expect the city to be IS-free within the coming few days.

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