Only a 'couple of hundred' ISIS fighters left in Mosul
Posted June 26
A "couple of hundred" ISIS fighters still defend the Old City in western Mosul, though it's not clear how many civilians are trapped in the area, a US-led coalition spokesman said.
"There is still tough fighting to go," Col. Joseph Scrocca told CNN, stressing that the operation launched last month to liberate Iraq's second-largest city has been led by Iraqi forces.
"In the Old City, just a few fighters can hold things up for some time," Scrocca said. "The ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) and coalition must be deliberate to protect the civilians that are still alive but quick enough to save them from starvation. It is a delicate balance."
In Mosul, 980 militants had been killed and more than 6,000 wounded in the push to oust ISIS, the Pentagon reported a month ago. The terror group took control of the city in 2014.
First Old City neighborhood captured
Security forces on Monday recaptured their first neighborhood in the Old City, a statement released by Iraq's Joint Operations Command announced.
"Iraqi counter terrorism forces have liberated al-Farouq al-Awla neighborhood in the Old City in western Mosul and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings," Nineveh operation commander, Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah, said in a statement.
Iraqi Security Forces launched the offensive on the historic district of the Old City in western Mosul on June 18. The area is believed to pose major challenges for ground forces because of its narrow streets and ISIS's use of human shields.
Fighting in Mosul has caused the displacement of more than 700,000 people since the offensive began, and the United Nations migration agency has warned that the number of people fleeing the city has soared in recent weeks.