An Iraqi military general says the military operation to regain complete control over Mosul and purge the country’s second largest city of Takfiri Daesh terrorists will come to an end within the next few days as government troops are combing the last areas still held by the extremists.
“Only a small part remains in the city, specifically the Old City,” Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said on Monday.
He added, “From a military perspective, Daesh is finished. It has lost its fighting spirit and its balance. We are making calls to them to surrender or die.”
Assadi further noted that Iraqi army forces thwarted Daesh militants’ offensive to return to neighborhoods outside the Old City late last night, stressing that Mosul will be liberated from the grip of Takfiri terrorists “in very few days, God willing.”
Commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah also said forces with the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) had captured al-Farouq neighborhood in western Mosul, and raised the national Iraqi flag over several buildings in the area.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are searching liberated neighborhoods of western Mosul in the wake of a surprise Daesh attack in the Tanak and Yarmouk neighborhoods of west Mosul, which claimed the lives of several civilians.
“The group came with the displaced people and settled in the Tanak district. They regrouped and launched counterattacks,” Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi of the CTS stated.
“Yarmouk is being searched house to house,” Saadi said, adding that two groups of Daesh extremists are still believed to be hiding in the area.
A CTS medic, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attack had caused several victims but he did not provide an exact figure.
The medic noted that between 15 and 20 Daesh extremists were killed in skirmishes with Iraqi army soldiers.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi, have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle to retake the city began nine months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.