Mosul (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State’s areas of influence in western Mosul currently account for only 7 percent of the region, according to the Iraqi command leading the war against the group in Iraq’s second largest city since October.
Brig. Gen. Yahia Rasoul, spokesperson of the Joint Operations Command, said Wednesday that “Daesh (IS) has been witnessing an obvious decrease in areas of its influence which now account only for seven percent of areas on the western axis of Mosul.” Rasoul added that Iraqi forces control 50 percent of the region.
Iraqi forces launched an offensive in February to eliminate IS from western Mosul, having retaken the eastern side of the city in January. Despite difficulties facing troops in western Mosul, including narrowly-structured streets and the dense population, Iraqi commanders have said the group’s combat capabilities were receding rapidly.
Rasoul said in statements earlier this week that the operations in western Mosul had ended “on the military rebels”, and that forces were only fighting “remnants of IS gangs”.
Iraqi forces are currently besieging IS members stationed at central Mosul’s Grand Nuri Mosque, where the group’s founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared its establishment in a famous sermon in 2014.