(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The comprehensive military campaign by Iraqi military forces to liberate the Northern city of Mosul from ISIS militants continued on Sunday, as local reports quoted a top Iraqi commander as saying that Western Mosul’s Old City district, a strategic ISIS bastion, has come under a full siege by Iraqi government forces.
Iraqi Military: Mosuls’ Strategic Old City Under Full Siege
An Iraqi command spokesman said Sunday that Western Mosul’s Old City district, a strategic ISIS militants’ bastion, has become entirely encircled by Iraqi government forces.
Spokesperson of the Joint Operations Command, Gen. Yahia Rasoul, said in a statement that Federal Police and Rapid Response forces had put the Old City under full siege, cutting ISIS’s supply routes to that area, which used to extend from neighboring Zanjili and 17 Tamuz districts, Iraqi News reported.
According to Rasoul, troops are on a “very short” distance from the Grand Nuri Mosque the landmark structure at the where ISIS leader Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi made his infamous sermon in 2014. He said the area will be cleared from militants soon.
ISIS Launches Chlorine Gas Attack in Western Mosul
ISIS terrorist group launched a chemical attack in a recently-liberated area in Western part of Mosul in Nineveh province, severely wounding several Iraqi soldiers.
Security sources disclosed that missiles loaded with chlorine were fired at al-Abar neighborhood, injuring at least seven troops.
The ISIS militants have also used chemical weapons several times against the Iraqi civilians in the city of Mosul, since the army troops started the special operation to recapture terrorist group's de facto capital.
Iraqi Army: 2900 ISIS Members Killed in Mosul in 4 Days
The Iraqi army said Sunday 2900 ISIS members were killed over the past few days in Western Mosul as US-backed operations continue to clear the remaining districts of the region from militants.
Sabah al-Noaman, spokesperson of the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said the announced “preliminary” toll was the result of fierce encounters between the group and Iraqi forces over the past four days at the Tenek and Abar districts, both recaptured recently by the government troops, Iraqi News reported.
Iraqi Air Force: Heavy Bombs Not Used in Mosul Battle
Iraqi Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-General Anwar Hammah said the use of heavy bombs had been totally banned in Mosul, where laser-guided bombs are used to hit targets.
"The bombs used by the Iraqi air force in Mosul are laser-guided and used when we ascertain the nature of the target," Hammah said, Baghdad Post reported.
He added the armed forces get information from the intelligence services.
"The battle to recapture the right bank of Mosul is approaches the end, Hammah said, without specifying a date.
Iraq: Top Field Commander of ISIS Killed in Mosul
Iraq’s Federal Police killed a high-ranking ISIS commander and gained control of a network of tunnels used by the Takfiri terrorists in Western part of Mosul in Nineveh province.
“The [Iraqi] forces killed ISIS leader called Mahmoud Ali Mahmoud Matar al-Hadidi during clashes with the group members in the Old City,” lieutenant General Shaker Jawdat said.
“The troops controlled the group’s network of tunnels, in the South of the city, that is used as an alternative headquarters by the leaders,” he added.
The Iraqi government also announced that the number of people who have managed to flee the ISIS terrorists in Mosul has reached 500,000.