Iraqi forces capture key parts of Mosul neighborhood

The battle has been concentrated there after the extremists were driven out of the eastern half of Iraq's second largest city.

The officer with the anti-terrorism forces said on Saturday that the attack occurred the night before in the al-Abar neighbourhood recently liberated from the militants by US-backed Iraqi forces, when IS fired a rocket loaded with chlorine.

Islamic State fighters have taken them as hostages and human shields, and turned houses into mortar factories.

They also announce that the targeted location was in fact a "fighting position" for Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allies in the USA mission to fight the Islamic State.

Iraqi Federal Police forces "are engaged in hard, house-to-house clashes with Daesh fighters inside the Old City", a media officer from these units told Reuters.

He added: "The federal police managed to shoot down a Daesh drone in northern Al-Tayaran district and launched artillery attacks targeting terrorist headquarters in the old city".

"Just because we're done in Mosul doesn't mean that Daesh is done in Iraq", Uribe said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Battles are now most intense around Mosul's densely populated and narrowly structured Old City district, where police forces cautiously approach the grand mosque where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group's rule.

Iraq's Federal Police killed a high-ranking ISIS commander and gained control of a network of tunnels used by the Takfiri terrorists in Western part of Mosul in Nineveh province.

Iraqi security forces have faced a counter-attack for most of Thursday in central areas of western Mosul near the Bab al-Baid neighborhood, according to a Rudaw correspondent in Mosul, where people are believed to have been executed for fleeing.

The operation to recapture Mosul - then the last Iraqi city under ISIS control - was launched in October.

  • Leroy Wright