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Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Iraqis fight house to house for costly victory in Mosul

Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged Daesh terrorists from the Ziwani Mosque and were only a few days away from ousting militants completely from the Old City. The mosque's grounds remain under the militants' control.

On June 22, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said the announcement that Mosul is liberated from terrorists may be made within days.

The army recaptured eastern Mosul in January and is now fighting to retake control of the western part of the city.

TRT World's Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul's Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture Islamic State's de-facto capital, and Iraq's prime minister predicted victory very soon.

Daesh has lost about half the Old City since the battle for the historic district started ten days ago.

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The army's 16th infantry division captured Hadarat al-Saada and al-Ahmadiyya, the military said in a statement.

The June 14 assault was carried out by more than 100 IS militants and killed 11 Iraqi policemen and four civilians in clashes that lasted hours.

A US -led worldwide coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive. ISIS uses auto bombs as well as snipers to hamper the advances of the Iraqi army.

According to recent United Nations reports, some 100,000 civilians are still trapped in the IS-held areas in the old city center and the adjacent al-Shifaa neighborhood. Troops ducked into narrow alleyways, through bright courtyards and up balconies to reach positions with a view of the now destroyed grand Al-Nouri Mosque.

"Near Mosul, three strikes engaged three Daesh tactical units; destroyed 14 fighting positions, three mortar systems, three medium machine guns, three supply caches [and] a rocket-propelled grenade system", the release stated on Wednesday.

Aid organizations say Islamic State has stopped many civilians from leaving, using them as human shields.

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