UPDATED: Iraqi police recapture railway station, garage near Mosul’s Old City

Members of Iraqi rapid response forces are pictured during clashes with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Nineveh ( Iraqi Federal Police recaptured Tuesday a railway station near western Mosul’s Old City as forces sweep through areas near the strategic Islamic State stronghold.

Alsumaria News said in a breaking news that Federal Police took over the Nineveh Railway Station, with operations continuing to clear western Mosul from IS militants amid tough resistance from the group coupled with inclement weather conditions. Other news reports said the police also took over the nearby Baghdad Garage.

The railway is part of Mosul al-Jadida (New Mosul), a district near the Old City which the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said took over on Monday.

Western Mosul’s railway station (Google Maps)

Iraqi generals view Mosul’s Old City as decisive in realizing victory against IS in western Mosul. It remains, however, a serious challenge given its extremely narrow alleyways and dense population, factors that render the troops incapable of storming it with combat vehicles.

Iraqi government forces recaptured the eastern section of Mosul from Islamic State on January 24th after three months of battles, and recently said they became in control of 30 percent of western Mosul since another offensive launched in February to retake the region.

Iraqi troops have made remarkable victories in the western region by recapturing major government facilities, a military base and the city’s airport. Commanders also said they had cut off main roads between the city and extremists’ supply routes fro Syria and also from the rest of Iraq.

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