Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces made incursions on Monday into western Mosul’s Old City district, Islamic State’s last bastion in the city, an officer has said.
Cap. Adel Haider, from Nineveh police service, told BasNews that Federal Police forces invaded Bab Sinjar popular market, engaging in violent encounters with IS militants who included suicide bombers.
“Security forces are putting the market under a full siege…..and killed nearly 23 militants, including suicide attackers,” Haider said, adding that army warplanes backed the offensive.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said Sunday its forces invaded the Old City from Bab Sinjar, a northern entrance, after recapturing Zanjili district. The Old City, currently IS’s last hideout in western Mosul, was the birthplace of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” when supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a sermon with the announcement in 2014.
Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and launched another offensive in mid February to retake the western side of the city.
Also on Monday, DPA quoted Iraqi security sources saying that field hospitals had received the dead bodies of 21 IS militants from several areas retaken from the extremist group. The corpses, which bore gunshot marks in the head, had been strewn at streets, the source said, adding they had probably been executed by unknown individuals.