Mosul – Fourteen Islamic State militants were killed and motorbikes were destroyed in Mosul’s Old City, the Federal Police declared on Monday.
In a statement, Lt.Gen.Shaker Jawdat said, “Federal Police troops in al-Zanjili district, north of the Old City, are deploying addition troops toward al-Sihha district in order to gain control on all of the area, amid missile shelling.”
“The selling targets IS defenses ahead of advancing,” he said adding that “The drone shelling left 14 militants killed and nine motorbikes in the narrow alleys of the Old City, destroyed.”
The Old City is home of the ancient Grand Nuri Mosque, from which the group’s Supreme Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave a famous sermon in 2014 declaring the establishment of the ‘caliphate’
Previously in May, the Joint Operations Command said more than 16,000 IS fighters were killed since start of Mosul operations in October.
Iraqi commanders say they at least 90 percent of territories in western Mosul is under Iraqi troops control, predicting to retake the city before the end of May. Only two districts besides the Old City are under IS control.
Iraqi forces have been sweeping through northwestern neighborhoods over the past few weeks in a way to invade the strategic Old City, after finding it hard to invade from the south.
The eastern side of Mosul was retaken in January after three months of battles. Another major offensive was launched in February to recapture the western flank of the city.