Iraqi forces to drive ISIS out of Mosul within three-week period, commander says

Iraqi forces to drive ISIS out of Mosul within three-week period, commander says
An Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) soldier looks though binoculars during a battle between CTS and Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
4 years ago

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MOSUL – Iraqi forces will drive Islamic State (ISIS) out of Mosul within a maximum of a three-week period, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanemi said on Friday (April 28).

Since the Mosul battle began seven months ago, Iraqi forces have been subjected to three chemical attacks by the ISIS, Ghanemi told the Lebanese media outlet of el-Nashra.

Iraqi forces continued their push on Friday (April 28) from the south of Mosul's Old City towards the north controlled by ISIS, as part of the siege and stealth tactics to drive the militants out of the historic neighborhood while minimizing casualties among civilians.

“We will finish with Daesh [ISIS] soon, but our main concern is the safety of the families and their evacuation. Daesh attacked the troops of the federal police this morning, but we foiled the attack and they suffered losses in men and equipment,” a member of Iraqi federal police said on Friday (April 28).

Government forces have surrounded the militants in the northwestern quarter, including the Old City, home to the Grand al-Nuri mosque, where their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a "caliphate" over parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim fighters are countering the offensive using booby traps, suicide motorcycle attacks, sniper and mortar fire and, occasionally, shells filled with toxic gas .

The Iraqi military gained additional ground on Friday, dislodging the militants from Hay al-Tanak, one of Mosul's largest districts by area, on the western edge of the city.