Mosul – Iraqi police forces advanced further on Friday through a new axis of operations against Islamic State militants in western Mosul, killing 30 members of the extremist group.
Federal Police chief Shaker Jawdat said in a press statement his troops had taken over three villages and killed 23 militants since launching an offensive earlier this week from northwestern Mosul towards the IS-held Old city. He said the troops are currently besieging the Haramat region and were four kilometers closer to the fifth of bridges linking western Mosul with its east.
On the southwestern axis of operations, police troops attacked the Islamic State’s so-called “travel and security offices” in Zanjili district, killing eight members including Hassan (Abu Walid) Gomaa, a senior Islamic State commander.
Iraqi commanders have claimed control over 70 percent over western Mosul. Eastern Mosul was declared militants-free in January.
The Iraqi command opened earlier this week a new front for ground offensives targeting IS’s strategic stronghold at the Old City region from the north, having found it difficult to invade the area from the south for weeks.
The Old City is home of the ancient Grand Nuri Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group’s control over Iraq and Syria in a famous sermon.