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Iraqi troops advance in neighborhood near Mosul’s Old City, evacuate dozens

Iraqi security forces ride in vehicles travelling to Mosul to fight against militants of Islamic State at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad


Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces advanced further Monday in a neighborhood near the Old City in western Mosul as operations continue towards the Islamic State’s last bastion  in the city.

Maj. Ali al-Yasseri, from the Federal Police service, told Shafaaq News that the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response forces advanced at al-Boursa (stock market) neighborhood south of Zanjili, a major IS entrenchment north of the Old City which Iraqi forces said they recaptured on Saturday.

Though the Joint Operations Command said Sunday it totally liberated Zanjili’s southern section, it seems some confrontations continue there at al-Boursa, where, Yasseri said, forces also managed to evacuate 67 civilian families from the front line.

Zanjili district, western Mosul (google maps)

On Sunday, Ojeil Mohamed al-Khaffaf, a captain in the Rapid Response forces, said 13 militants were killed in intense confrontations at al-Boursa.

The JOC said its forces invaded the Old City from Bab Sinjar, a northern entrance, after recapturing Zanjili. The Old City was the birthplace of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” when supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a sermon with the announcement.

Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and launched another offensive in mid February to retake the western side of the city.


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