Police say brought down 60% of IS defenses around Mosul landmark mosque

Al-Hadbaa (leaning) minaret in the Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque in western Mosul.

Mosul ( The Iraqi Federal Police command said Sunday troops brought down 60 percent of Islamic State defense lines around central Mosul’s strategic mosque.

The service’s commander, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in a statement his forces destroyed 60 percent of IS defenses and supply channels in the vicinity of Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, the Old City’s landmark spot where IS supreme commander, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq in 2014.

Jawdat added that reinforcements continue for troops at the frontline preparing to invade the mosque which has been under police siege over the past few weeks.

The Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque in western Mosul (Google Maps)

Jawdat said his forces killed six senior IS members in offensives on al-Khousar area, located at the nearby 17 Tamuz (July 17th) district.

Those killed, according to Jawdat, included Hareth Suleiman, aka Abu Usama al-Askari, a former army officer, Majid (Abu Anfal) Mahgoub, a commander at IS’s Jaish al-Osra subdivision, Fares al-Saudi, a security commander for western Mosul, Abu Harun al-Masry, area commander for the 17 Tamuz district, Rafea al-Hayyali, aka Abu Anas al-Hegazi, IS’s administrative official for Nineveh, and Hassan Zeidan, a senior intelligence official.

Jawdat said Saturday his forces had killed 512 IS members and took over at least 60 areas since operations launched in February to retake western Mosul.

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