ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Iraqi troops reported Thursday morning that they have retaken the Moalimeen neighborhood and the Silo of Mosul in the western half of the city from ISIS militants and that they are pushing into Naft and New Mosul neighborhood in the center.
Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah, commander of the ‘We are Coming Nineveh’ operations announced that the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Forces had been able to bring Moalimeen neighborhood and the city’s Silo under control in the early hours of the day after intense fighting.
Rudaw’s Farhad Dolamari reported that heavy clashes were also underway in the districts of Bab al-Top known as ‘The New Mosul’ and Naft where the Iraqi Federal Police together with the Rapid Response Force defused at least four car bombs aiming to halt their advances.
Dolamari added that Iraqi forces continue to close in on Hadba Minaret and Noor mosque where ISIS leader Abu Bakir al-Baghdad gave a sermon in the New Mosul district, but the militants are putting up tough resistance in the narrow alleys through car bombs and planted bombs.
In the meantime, the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary announced they had controlled Dirnaj areas and Badush power station, a day after the town’s prison was also recaptured from ISIS, the place where the group “massacred” hundreds of inmates when they seized control in the summer of 2014.
Iraqi troops are now in complete control of at least 10 districts in Mosul’s western half near the Old City as the elite Rapid Response force presses forward into more densely populated urban areas west of the Tigris River, embedded Rudaw reporter Ranja Jamal said.
The army has retaken areas surrounding Mosul over the past weeks including a strategic airfield west of the river and large areas southwest of the city.
Earlier this week the army managed to retake Mosul’s government compound and the governor’s building as well as the Mosul museum.
Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced Tuesday that the headquarters for the Nineveh provincial government along with the al-Hurriyah Bridge and western district of Al Dawasa, Al Donavan and Tal al-Ruman had been recaptured by the army.
The fierce street clashes have also driven many families out of their homes to seek safety elsewhere in the city, reaching more than 45,000 people just two weeks into the third and current offensive to defeat ISIS in Mosul, the last major stronghold of the extremist group in Iraq.