Iraq forces seize ground in Mosul Old City

Iraqi forces have since retaken several neighbourhoods despite bad weather that has hampered air support.

Published: 18th March 2017 03:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2017 03:25 AM   |  A+A-

An Iraqi special forces soldier patrols at an al-Tahrir front line neighborhood in Mosul city, Iraq.| AP

By PTI

MOSUL: Iraqi forces said today they had seized ground inside Mosul's Old City, a district expected to see some of the fiercest clashes in the battle for the jihadist stronghold. An operation began on February 19 to retake Mosul's west, the last major Islamic State group urban bastion in the country, which includes the Old City.

Iraqi forces have since retaken several neighbourhoods despite bad weather that has hampered air support. In the ancient central district, hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped under IS rule in a warren of densely populated, narrow streets which restrict the use of large armoured vehicles. Federal police commander Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat said today that Iraqi forces backed by artillery and drones had advanced in the district.

"Federal police and Rapid Response units imposed their complete control over the Al-Basha Mosque... and the Bab al-Saray market in the Old City," he said. The two sites lie on the edge of the district in the heart of Mosul, next to the Tigris river that slices the city in two.

Further west, forces from the elite Counter-Terrorism Service have pushed into the Al-Rissala and Nablus quarters, senior commander Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi said. "The situation is good," he said. The fall of Mosul, Iraq's second city, would be a major setback for IS following months of losses in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

But its loss would not mean the end of IS in Iraq, according to Emily Anagnostos of the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War. "The US and coalition will need to ensure their continued presence in Iraq after Mosul's recapture, which could occur within a month, in order to clear remaining ISIS-held areas and ensure stability in recaptured areas," she said in an online report, using another name for IS.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp