Alwaght- Iraqi government forces now control western Mosul’s medieval Old City, the last bastion for ISIS terrorist in Iraq’s second largest city.
Iraq state television announced on Saturday that in the coming hours as Islamic State's defensive lines will collapse in its former de facto capital in Iraq and official victory will be declared.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Yahia Rasoul, was quoted as saying Iraqi forces took control over the Old City, the birthplace of ISIS’s self-styled “caliphate” in Iraqi and Syria which was declared in 2014, suggesting the end of ISIS’s three-year occupation of the key city.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said earlier that government forces killed 35 ISIS members and wounded six others while sneaking from the western side of Mosul into the eastern side. It also said Federal Police forces finished their combat missions in the Old City by retaking Nujaifi street, Bab al-Toub and Souk al-Sagha (jewelry market), all previously marked as the last spots remaining in ISIS’s grip. The statement said the militants were escaping the advancing troops in the Old City.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of Islamic State's "state of falsehood" a week ago, after security forces took Mosul's medieval Grand al-Nuri mosque - although only after retreating militants blew it up.
The United Nations predicts it will cost more than $1 billion to repair basic infrastructure in war-battered Mosul.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19. The Old City, a densely-populated warren of narrow alleyways, is situated in the western part of the city and its complete liberation is predicted to be achieved in coming hours.
The operations to liberate Mosul have been carried out by the Iraqi army and Iraqi pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Forces.