Iraqi forces have launched an attack against the northern city of Mosul’s Old City, the last bastion held by ISIS terrorist group in the Arab country.

The attack was announced by the Iraqi government earlier on Sunday, a day after the operation to retake the strategic city entered its ninth month.

Iraqi Special Forces as well as the regular army and Federal Police are taking part in the operation which began Sunday at dawn, said Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah, who commands army operations in Ninevah province.

Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Asadi, the commander of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), described the attack as the last chapter in the Mosul offensive.

However, retaking the area from ISIS is especially hard given that some 100,000 civilians are trapped and being used by the terrorists as human shields.

ISIS has been shooting down civilians trying to flee on foot or via the Tigris River, according to the UN.

The Old City is home to al-Nuri mosque, where ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a sermon back in 2014 as his group declared a caliphate in the areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.

The same year, ISIS named Mosul and the northern Syrian city of Raqqah as its capitals.