Iraqi forces urge IS fighters to surrender as Mosul’s Old City invasion begins

Al-Hadbaa (leaning) minaret in the Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque in western Mosul.

Mosul ( Iraqi government forces are urging Islamic State members to surrender as they began Sunday invading the group’s last haven in western Mosul and become closer to retaking th city that fell to the group in 2014.

A statement by the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said that officers started five days earlier to call upon the militants to surrender through loudspeakers. It added that a few number of them did turn themselves in.

The measure, according to the statement, is aimed at safeguarding the lives of civilians held in the battlefield which the United Nations has estimated by at least 100.000 and said are deprived of basic livelihood and targeted by IS snipers upon fleeing.

The Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque in western Mosul (Google Maps)

Mohamed Ibrahim, head of the security committee at the Nineveh province council, was quoted by Ikhnews saying that 1500 Islamic State members were entrenching near the Nuri al-Kabeer Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared taking over a third of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

He said government troops were making sure not to use heavy weapons to prevent casualties among civilians.
Iraqi forces took over eastern Mosul in January and have been sweeping through the western side since mid February.

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