FILE PHOTO: A member of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) walks at the site after an air strike attack against Islamic State triggered a massive explosion in Mosul, Iraq March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Federal Police forces on Monday aimed again at the strategic, Islamic State-held Old City from the southern entrances, reopening an old front they had ceded late April.
The service’s chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said early Monday that his forces, backed by army warplanes, started attacking Islamic State militants’ defenses south of the Old City, killing seven members before besieging Bab al-Jadid neighborhood.
Jawdat said his forces had also run into a prison run by Islamic State militants in the recaptured district of 17 Tamuz. He said forces found corpses of two men and a woman who had apparently been “brutally killed” before the prison was set to fire.
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. Troops began to march toward the Old City from the northwest since late April, recapturing all but three districts surrounding the area.
Some commanders hope the city will be recaptured on June 10th, the day it fell to IS fighters in 2014. They had previously predicted the city to be liberated before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which began May 27th.