Members of the Iraqi armed forces are seen advancing towards ISIS-held areas in the central parts of Western Mosul. Photo: Rudaw video
MOSUL, Iraq— More than 700 Islamic militants have been killed in west Mosul since the offensive to retake western half of the city started on February 19, Major General Maan Saad of the Iraqi anti-terror elite troops told Rudaw.
Saad also said that the army was en route to recapture districts around the al-Omal neighbourhood in downtown Mosul, with the militants retreating from several districts surrounding the area.
“Our forces are advancing towards the Industrial neighborhood and the Factory areas in the “new eastern Mosul” with the oil companies circled by our troops,” Saad said.
“The army has moved in to the al-Omal neighborhood with heavy ISIS casualties reported. Since the operation started in the western parts of the city, more than 700 ISIS militants have been killed with the majority of them being foreign fighters,” Saad added.
Embedded Rudaw Reporter in Mosul Ranja Jamal said army sources told him that militarily, ISIS had lost some 70 percent of its ground in the city and was forced to retreat from more fortified neighborhoods in the coming days.
“They are still using car bombs and put up resistance in those areas they control, but the tide is against them, as you see we are in the center of the western half of the city,” said Hazim Karim, an army commander.
Karim said more frequent house-to-house gun battle is expected in the central parts of the city where the militants have punched holes in people’s homes earlier to move across west Mosul undetected.