(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iraqi forces have recaptured nearly 90 percent of west Mosul from the ISIS group and terrorists in the city are on the "brink of total defeat," military spokesmen said Tuesday.
Iraqi forces launched the massive operation to retake Mosul from ISIS nearly seven months ago, fighting their way to the terrorist-held city, retaking its eastern side and then attacking the west.
Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command, told a news conference in Baghdad that ISIS now controls just over 10 percent of west Mosul.
Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for the so called US-led international coalition against ISIS, said that the end was near for terrorists in the city.
"The enemy is completely surrounded," Dorrian told the news conference. "The enemy is on the brink of total defeat in Mosul."
"More than 300 vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (car bombs) have been destroyed by coalition strikes in Mosul," Dorrian said.
The terrorist group now controls just a handful of neighbourhoods around the Old City, one of the country's heritage jewels.
The area's narrow streets and closely spaced buildings make it difficult for federal forces to take on the terrorists, requiring them to fight on foot instead of from vehicles as they have previously done.
Half a million people are currently displaced as a result of the battle for Mosul, and some 250,000 civilians are estimated to still be trapped inside the city's west.
The number of those fleeing has been on the rise, with Thursday seeing around 20,000 people fleeing west Mosul, the Norwegian Refugee Council said, in the biggest single-day displacement since the start of the operation.
The presence of a large civilian population, which either chose not to leave or was prevented from doing so by ISIS, complicates any final assault to seal victory in Mosul.