Iraqi Forces Push Into Last IS Pocket in Mosul

Iraqi Forces Push Into Last IS Pocket in MosulIraqi Forces Push Into Last IS Pocket in Mosul

Iraqi forces have pushed deeper into the last pocket of Mosul controlled by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, as the battle for the city approaches an end after seven months of grueling combat.

IS fighters have now been dislodged from all but a handful of districts in the western half of Mosul, including the Old City, where the group is expected to make its last stand, taking advantage of narrow streets and its dense population, Aljazeera reported.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul said on Sunday the area controlled by IS was no more than 9% of west Mosul, which is bisected by River Tigris.

"It's a very small area," he told reporters. "God willing, this is the final phase."

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service stormed the Ureibi and Rifaie districts at dawn on Sunday, according to a statement from the Joint Operations Command. At the same time, the army's ninth division and the Interior Ministry's elite Emergency Response Division attacked the IS bastion of 17 Tammouz.

Vastly outnumbered by the forces arrayed against them, IS fighters are fighting back with suicide car bombs and snipers embedded among hundreds of thousands of civilians they are holding hostage.

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