Commander of the Iraqi Golden Division, Major General Fazil Barwari, speaking with Rudaw in Mosul on Thursday. Photo: Rudaw video
MOSUL, Iraq – Iraqi forces expect to reach the Tigris River, running through the city, soon.
“We will get to the Tigris River in the near future. We are 3.5 kilometers away from the Old Mosul Bridge,” said commander of the Iraqi Golden Division, Major General Fazil Barwari.
Barwari spoke to Rudaw about the ongoing offensive to recapture Mosul. “We have liberated 22 neighborhoods in Mosul so far, and clashes are ongoing now in Khosar, which we will hopefully control in the next few hours,” he said.
“The coalition forces bomb ISIS positions within Mosul in accordance with requests from us. But ISIS fights among houses. This is the big problem. These houses are inhabited.”
“Bombing ISIS fighters in residential areas is difficult for us and the coalition bombers because we take into account the safety of civilians. We do not want them to get hurt,” Barwari detailed.
On Thursday, a car bomb was destroyed by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces near a Rudaw team at Mosul’s Zahur neighborhood where ISIS was putting up fierce resistance.
“ISIS has been depending on many tactics. The latest was the use of electric trolleys laden with explosives. Now we know this tactic too,” Barwari said. “One day ISIS directed an electric trolley laden with 150 kilos of explosives against our forces.”
Iraqi forces took control of al-Salam Hospital after a fierce fight with ISIS, who was using the hospital as a base, and with assistance of a coalition airstrike on Wednesday. The forces have now withdrawn from the hospital to protect the building from further damage on Thursday.
“Our units pulled out of al-Salam Hospital so as not to cause any damage to the premises and equipment of the hospital and take the fight with the enemy out of the hospital,” the media cell of the Joint Operations Command stated.