Iraqi government forces have managed to liberate three more neighborhoods in the country’s second largest city of Mosul as they engage in joint operations with allied fighters to expel Takfiri ISIL militants out of their last urban stronghold in the country.
The commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said on Sunday that the 9th Armored Division had regained control of al-Molawwathah neighborhood in western Mosul in addition to Huwaidrah village north of Badush.
Yarallah added that army troops also recaptured a mill and gas station in the western flank of Mosul.
The high-ranking Iraqi military commander noted that government forces inflicted heavy losses on Daesh ranks and destroyed a considerable amount of their military hardware in the process as well.
Separately, Iraqi security forces moved deeper inside central Mosul on Sunday, recapturing two neighborhoods and killing scores of ISIL terrorists.
An unnamed local source told Arabic-language Skypress news agency that security forces had established full control over Khaled ibn al-Walid and Bab al-Sijn neighborhoods near Mosul’s Old City, opening safe exit routes for civilians.
The source added that federal police troops later moved on to al-Matahen area, killing 17 militants. There were two bombers among the slain extremists.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi army helicopters strafed and fired rockets at ISIL positions in Mosul’s Old City as troops on the ground closed in on the strategic and symbolic prize of the al-Nuri Mosque.
Federal Police troops had advanced past the train station in western Mosul closer to the mosque. A police commander said they were very close to taking control of it.
Residents fled from the area, carrying bags of belongings and picking their way through the wrecked buildings as shells and gunfire echoed behind them. Most of them were women and children.
The battle to recapture ISIL’s last stronghold in Iraq has now entered its sixth month.