A member of the Iraqi Federal Police is seen on an armoured vehicle at the frontline in western Mosul, Iraq May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Federal Police forces are besieging Zanjili district near western Mosul’s Old City, Islamic State’s last refuge there, and killed 12 militants, the force’s commander said Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat said in a statement that “special forces of Federal Police commandos” are encircling Daesh (Islamic State) in Zanjili after taking over their communication equipment. He said bombardment of the area under siege left 12 militants added, including several with Arab nationalities.
“Forces are continuing their incursions along 600 meters, and are approaching Bab Sinjar, the Old City’s northern entrance,” Jawdat stated.
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.