Iraqi forces seize more ground in Mosul, PM sees victory soon

Federal policemen carry food to the frontline during fighting against ISIS militants in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Monday, June 26, 2017.

:: Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul’s Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture ISIS’s de-facto capital, and Iraq’s prime minister predicted victory very soon, Reuters reported.

Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged ISIS insurgents from the Ziwani mosque and were only a few days away from ousting militants completely from the Old City.

“The victory announcement will come in a very short time,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on his website on Monday evening.

“The operation is continuing to free the remaining parts of the Old City,” Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) told a Reuters correspondent near the frontline in the heart of the Old City.

Iraqi forces had about 600 meters (2,000 ft) of ground left to cover before reaching Mosul’s Corniche road along the western bank of the Tigris, federal police commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat told Iraqi State TV.

“In a few days our forces will reach Corniche and bring the battle to its conclusion,” said Jawdat.

Earlier, thousands of families were stuck between ISIS and Iraqi forces as the latter continued to liberate the last remaining pocket for the militant group in Old Mosul on Tuesday, Al Hadath News Channel’s correspondent reported.

A lieutenant in the Iraqi Army told the correspondent that more 400 civilians have fled the area in the past 24 hours as battle raged.

The operation to recapture western Mosul started on 19 February, a few weeks after dislodging ISIS from the city’s eastern side.

Zeid Ali, 12, left, and Hodayfa Ali, 11, comfort each other after their house was hit and collapsed during fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants in Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

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