Iraq Slows Mosul Offensive While Celebrating 'Big Victory'

Jul 06, 2017, 00:17
Iraq Slows Mosul Offensive While Celebrating 'Big Victory'

Western-backed forces edged into the final redoubts of the two capitals of Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, July 4, hampered by fierce resistance from the militants and the presence of human shields, according to Reuters.

The extent of the destruction of Mosul's old city and its iconic Grand al-Nuri Mosque has been uncovered in new aerial footage captured over the northern Iraqi city.

The civilians - mostly women and children - are fleeing the city in waves of displacement as Iraqi forces push toward the Tigris River, according to Iraqi special forces Maj.

The number of Islamic State militants fighting in Mosul, by far the biggest city it has ever controlled, has dwindled from thousands at the start of the US -backed offensive more than eight months ago to a couple of hundred now, according to the Iraqi military.

Also during the press conference, Abadi added that he has given instructions to rebuild and stabilise areas of the city already freed from the militant group.

Across the border in Syria, Isis' grip is also loosening on its last city of Raqqa as US-backed Arab and Kurdish militias advance through the city's neighbourhoods.

At least 50,000 civilians are believed to still be trapped in Islamic State-occupied pockets of Mosul.

"The presence of civilians has affected the troops' advance a lot".

Issuing a statement on Sunday 160 Iranian parliamentarians offered their congratulations to the Iraqi people and government as well the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC's) advisory mission in the Arab country over the recent liberation of Mosul.

The battle for Mosul is the first time the various forces making up Iraq's military have had to cooperate in an urban environment, and there have been inevitable failures that allowed Daesh militants to concentrate their defenses on a single front.

The female bombers are reported to have hid among residents fleeing the city and then detonated their vests hidden underneath their burkas at various military and civilian targets.

Suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants killed nine people and abducted dozens more in southern Niger on Sunday night.

Iraqi forces say they expect to reach the Tigris and regain full control over the city by the end of this week. The recapture of Mosul will not, however, mark the end of the war against Islamic State.

"The number is.more or less 300 fighters, a lot of them of European nationalities, Arabs, of other nationalities, or of Asian origin", he said of the remaining extremists.

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