Iraqi forces close on Mosul mosque as strike kills foreign militants

22 March, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Essie Rivera
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Humanitarian agencies are bracing for the possibility that in coming weeks about 300,000 to 320,000 civilians may flee the western districts of Iraqi's Mosul city where Government forces are fighting to oust the Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh) terrorists, a senior United Nations aid official in the country has said.

This footage was shared by the Iraqi Federal Police and is described as showing civilians evacuating from areas near the mosque of al-Nuri in old Mosul.

Iraq's Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in a statement on Sunday that his forces were very close to the Grand Nuri Mosque in Old Mosul, another primary target for Iraqi security forces seeking to eradicate ISIS from Western Mosul since February.

The Islamic State is putting up a fierce resistance while defending positions in western Mosul's densely populated areas, Abdulla said.

Jawdat added that his forces, advancing towards the mosque, killed tens of militants and destroyed 23 booby-trapped vehicles.

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Federal Police moved in on foot from near the train station towards the Old City, forging ahead through rubble-filled streets. "They are mostly using auto bombs and that shows they are losing on the ground".

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon in al-Nuri mosque in July 2014 after the extremist group seized nearly a third of Iraq, declaring an Islamic caliphate in the areas under his group's control in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Iraqi government troops recaptured Eastern Mosul in January and are working to retake the Western side of the city, making a remarkable progress by recapturing major government facilities, the city's airport and a major military base.

"It is bad, Islamic State [Daesh] has destroyed us".

The last week has seen the highest level of displacement yet, with 32,000 displaced between March 12 and 15.

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