Iraqi government forces have pushed deeper in Mosul’s militant-held district of Old City as they are battling to purge ISIL Takfiri militants out of their last bastion in the country’s second largest city, warning civilians to stay inside and telling extremists to “surrender or die.”
Staff Major General Maan al-Saadi, a top commander in the elite Counter Terrorism Service, said Iraqi forces advanced into the Old City at 6:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Monday, and took control of new areas in the Faruq neighborhood.
He added that ISIL Takfiris are putting up fierce resistance in the wake of the Iraqi army’s territorial gains.
“Daesh resistance has been fierce. They have blocked every entrance, planted IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and booby-trapped houses our forces might be near. Penetrating was very difficult. Today the fighting is face to face,” Saadi pointed out.
Taking back the Old City of Mosul, a densely populated warren of narrow alleyways on the western side of Mosul, is crucial to recapturing the whole of the former ISIL stronghold in Iraq.