Iraqi soldiers of the Counter-Terrorism Service fought their way into the eastern neighborhood of al-Karama where they faced bombs and heavy gunfire from ISIS terrorists.

Elite Iraqi forces have been able to push deep into the streets of Mosul city on Friday while facing tough resistance from ISIS militants who had control over the city for over two years, according to a commander.

A senior CTS officer Muntathar Salem said that Counter-Terrorism Service soldiers fought ISIS militants in the eastern neighborhood of al-Karama while there were attacked with bombs and heavy gunfire from the terrorist group.

An AFP reported saw bulldozers and other armored vehicles move into al-Karama. The report was posted with the CTS in a cemetery at the eastern entrance to the city.

ISIS terrorists had set up barriers and laid bombs along the streets to slow the advance of CTS soldiers. The gunfire was almost uninterrupted, reports from the front crackling into CTS radios said.

US-led airstrikes have intensified over the past couple of days to prepare the push against the terrorist group.

This is the first significant incursion into Mosul since ISIS took control of the city in June 2014.

The army units and the Counter-Terrorism Service deployed further south had crossed the municipal boundary earlier this week but they held back from entering the built-up area.

According to estimates, nearly 3,000 to 5,000 ISIS fighters are scattered across the war-torn city, which is the Iraq's second largest, and where over a million civilians are believed to be trapped