Mosul – Iraqi government troops recaptured a mosque in western Mosul’s Old City and killed a senior Islamic State leader as troops invade the group’s last enclave in the city.
Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaer Jawdat, said his forces liberated al-Hadin mosque in the Old City and killed Abu Bakr al-Masri, a senior military commander with IS at Bab al-Jadeed neighborhood.
Iraqi forces, which invaded the medieval Old City district on Sunday, are primarily eyeing the Nuri al-Kabeer Mosque, the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed taking over a third of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Iraqi forces took over eastern Mosul in January and have been sweeping through the western side since mid February.
A few hundred IS fighters are believed to be entrenching in the Old City, seeking protection in the middle of 100.000 civilians who are believed to be used as human shields and shot dead once trying to escape.
On Sunday, Iraqi forces also arrested another senior IS leader.
Parliament member Mishan al-Jubouri wrote on facebook that forces arrested Shaker (Hadoula) Dawood, Islamic State’s top intelligence official in Nineveh. Jubouri, posting photos of the arrested militant, said he represented a precious “information treasure”.