US-backed Iraqi forces on Thursday imposed a siege on the ISIS-held Mosul Old City, in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate, officials reported.
Mosul, where the Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists declared their so-called Caliphate in June 2014, has recently witnessed heavy fighting between the advancing Iraqi forces and ISIS militants.
“ISIS terrorists are now under tight siege inside the Old City of Mosul,” Iraqi security officer Ali Hammadi told ARA News over the phone.
The Iraqi official said that ISIS currently relies on sniper fire to prevent the Iraqi forces from breaking into the besieged area.
“However, we’re prepared for this scenario, and our forces will continue to pressure ISIS inside the Old City until the area is liberated and secured,” he told ARA News.
Supported by an air cover from the US-led coalition, the Iraqi government forces are now about 500 m from the centuries-old al-Nuri Mosque in the Mosul Old City. According to officials, capturing the mosque would be a huge symbolic victory against the ISIS self-declared Caliphate.
After launching a main operation against ISIS militants last October, the Iraqi Army and Security Forces have recently made major gains in the fight for Mosul, taking over the entire eastern part of the city and a main bridge over the Tigris River.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri | Source: ARA News
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