IS counterattacks in retaken parts of Mosul stall Iraq push

IS counterattacks in retaken parts of Mosul stall Iraq push

IS counterattacks in retaken parts of Mosul stall Iraq push

The Iraqi forces backed by the US-led air campaign and supported by anti-ISIS armed groups have been able to recapture most of the land occupied by the extremist group.

The historic mosque grounds remain under militant control.

"The victory announcement will come in a very short time", Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on his website Monday evening.

Iraqi special forces Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said IS holds "very little" territory inside Mosul at the present moment, adding that he hoped the operation would be concluded within days.

The US-led coalition against the Daesh terror group (outlawed in Russia) conducted 32 strikes consisting of 75 engagements in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, including three strikes near Mosul, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release.

A US-led worldwide coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive.

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The military estimates up to 350 militants are dug in among civilians in wrecked houses and crumbling infrastructure. They were making extensive use of booby traps, suicide bombers and sniper fire to slow the advance of Iraqi forces.

Also, DAESH fighters, the Arabic acronym for IS, infiltrated Tanak by mixing with displaced civilians who returned home and settled there using many residents as human shields, while regrouping and counterattacking government troops.

Fighting is now focused on Mosul, ISIS's de facto capital, and Khodari claimed that the suicide attacks on Sunday "show that they will soon be defeated in Mosul".

Islamic State's Baghdadi has left the fighting in Mosul to local commanders and is assumed to be hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border area. There has been no confirmation of Russian reports over the past days that he has been killed.

Members of the Iraqi federal police hold position during an armed exchange as smoke billows in the background while advancing through the Old City of Mosul on June 28, 2017, as the offensive continues to retake the last district held by Daesh terrorists.

Security forces blocked their attempted fight-back, al-Saadi said.

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