Comprehensive military campaign to liberate the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul continued on Monday with Iraqi Special Forces battling to clear ISIL from Eastern Mosul and declaring that they have so far killed nearly 1,000 militants.
Iraqi Forces Say 1,000 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Mosul
Iraqi Special Forces battling to clear ISIL from Eastern Mosul killed nearly 1,000 militants but fighting has slowed as troops face a mobile enemy hidden among thousands of civilians in the city, a top commander said.
Six weeks into a major offensive, Iraqi forces have captured nearly half of Eastern Mosul, moving from district to district against ISIL snipers, suicide attackers and car bombs, Iraqi News reported.
Elite Iraqi troops, known as the “Golden Division”, are the only brigades to have entered Mosul from the east, with Iraqi army, federal police and Kurdish Peshmerga units surrounding the city to the North and South, while popular forces are trying to complete the encirclement from the West.
The US-trained Counter Terrorism Service unit breached ISIL's defenses at the end of October, but has been slowed by the militants’ mobile tactics and concern over civilian casualties preventing the use of tanks and heavy armor.
Five ISIL Leaders Killed by Iraqi Forces South of Mosul
The federal police forces killed on Monday five ISIL terror group leaders including foreigners by a rocket attack targeted their gathering in Al-Busief area South of Mosul, a security source said.
“The rocket attack came in accordance with prior intelligence information to monitor the movements of ISIL’ field leaders in Al-Busief area”, the security source said, Badr News reported.
The source pointed out that the information had been provided to the federal police by confidential sources at the front lines.
Iraqi Forces Recapture Village in Eastern Mosul
Iraqi forces recaptured on Monday another village on their way to the heart of the city of Mosul as part of an operation that launched in October to liberate the city from ISIL militants, an Iraqi army commander said.
Lt. Gen Abdul Amir Yarallah said the forces of Iraqi Army's 9th division recaptured the village of al-Kasr, East of Tigris river, South of Mosul, Iraqi News reported.
He added that the forces raised the Iraqi flag at the village.
The army said recently its forces were aiming at the Eastern shore of Tigris River which cuts through Mosul.
Meanwhile, Iraq's popular mobilization units have liberated two new villages south of Tall Afar district, West of Mosul.