Culture

'Couple of hundred' ISIS fighters left in Mosul

'Couple of hundred' ISIS fighters left in Mosul”

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group launched a string of counterattacks in western Mosul, setting off clashes that continued overnight on Monday, according to Iraqi officials.

Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 ISIL fighters dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged some of the militants from a mosque there and were only a few days away from ousting the group completely from the Old City.

The Islamic State last week destroyed Mosul's al-Hadba minaret and the 845-year-old Great Mosque of al-Nuri, or Noor mosque, where leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have declared the Islamic State caliphate.

According to the Daily Mail, there are thought to only be hundreds of IS soldiers remaining in Mosul as Iraqi forces move closer to flush out the so-called caliphate.

 

ISIL has carried out sporadic suicide bombings in parts of Mosul using sleeper cells. It launched a wave of such attacks late on Sunday, trying to take control of a district west of the Old City, Hay Al-Tanak, and the nearby Yarmuk neighborhood. Footage showed families, fearing a return to Isil rule, leaving by auto and on foot against a backdrop of rising black smoke.

The commander said that later that his forces were capable of liberating the Farouq neighborhood, following fierce battles with the terrorist group. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.

The attacks also underscore the security threat that IS will likely pose, long after the militant group is routed from all of Mosul and other territory it holds in Iraq.

The commander said they were concerned about the lives of civilians as ISIS has used them as human shields while withdrawing, leading to civilian fatalities.



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