Mosul battle:Iraqi troops move into Mosul’s Old city
June 18, Baghdad: The U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the Islamic State-held Old City of Mosul on Sunday, an Iraqi commander said.
The IS group captured Mosul in 2014. It is a densely-populated area. Iraq launched a massive operation to retake the city last October. According to UN, about 150,000 civilians are trapped in Mosul with little food, water and medicine and limited access to hospitals.
Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah said, “Iraqi special forces, the regular army and Federal Police are taking part in the operation to retake the Old City, which began Sunday at dawn.”
Islamic State snipers are shooting at families trying to flee from Mosul as part of a tactic to keep civilians as human shields.
Iraq state TV aired live footage showing thick black smoke rising from the Old City and gunfire rattling from inside. It said leaflets were distributed urging civilians to leave through five "safe corridors."
General Abdel Ghani al-Asadi, the head of Iraq's special forces, told state TV he expects the extremists to put up a "vicious and tough fight".
The Oslo Times International News Network