Police chief says forces invade another district in western Mosul

Federal police carry their weapons during a battle against Islamic State militants, at the entrance to the city of Dawasa in Mosul, Iraq, March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani – RTS11ISC

Mosul ( Iraqi government forces advanced towards a new district in western Mosul on Thursday, continuing a push towards the IS-held Old City from the northwest.

Federal Police chief, Shaker Jawdat said in statements that the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response forces, backed by Federal Police armoured vehicles, made an incursion Thursday at al-Ektesadiyn district, an area to which Islamic State fled over the past few days as Iraqi forces advanced, according to field commanders.

The troops are moving across the district’s northern section, while dozens of armoured vehicles and hundreds of snipers trained for night-time battles were deployed at those areas, putting the militants under siege, Jawdat said.

Ektesadiyn district, western Mosul (google maps).

The development comes as Iraqi forces opened last week a new front targeting the strategic, IS-held Old City from the northwestern direction, having struggled for weeks to invade the densely populated and narrowly structured area from its southern entrances.

Iraqi commanders have reported dozens of deaths among Islamic State militants and the recapture of large parts of districts on the targets list.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi command said army forces had killed more than 1300 militants since the launch of operations for western Mosul in February. Iraqi commanders say they control at least 70 percent of western Mosul.

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