Mosul (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State has lost 80% of their suicide bombers and commandos in battles against Iraqi government forces in western Mosul, the head of the Federal Police said Wednesday.
Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat said his forces also took over tens of booby-trapped vehicles in Zanjili district, one of the three remaining neighborhoods leading to the Old City where Iraqi forces have been battling IS over the past few weeks.
Jaadat said Tuesday his forces had taken over a training facility for IS suicide bombers in Zanjili.
Iraqi government troops regained control over eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting. Operations for the western side of the city launched in mid February, and Iraqi generals say a few hundreds of IS fighters remain in the Old City as a last refuge.
The densely populated and narrowly structured Old City was the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq in 2014.
Iraqi forces began late April to advance towards the enclave from the northwest, having besieged it from the south for weeks to no avail.
At least 200.000 civilians are believed to remain in IS captivity in that area.