Iraqi forces retake another key area in West Mosul

Iraqi forces retake another key area in West Mosul

MOSUL: Iraqi forces announced on Tuesday they had retaken yet another neighbourhood of western Mosul, tightening the noose around jihadists holed up in the Old City.

Forces from the elite Counter-Terrorism Service "liberated the Northern Industrial Area on the western side," the Joint Operations Command (JOC) coordinating the war against the Islamic State group in Iraq said.

The JOC said in its statement that the forces "raised the Iraqi flag after inflicting losses to the enemy."

The fresh gain is part of a new push which Iraqi forces launched last week in northwestern Mosul and has already wrested back several neighbourhoods from the jihadists.

On Monday, Iraqi forces retook full control of Al-Haramat, a large neighbourhood on the edge of the city.

The latest operations make it harder than ever to flee for the few hundred IS fighters estimated to remain in Mosul.

The jihadists who have been defending their last major bastion in the country for more than six months have offered limited resistance in recent days, apparently regrouping in the Old City for a last stand.

IS only controls a handful of neighbourhoods around the Old City, where at least 250,000 civilians are still trapped and living in dire conditions, according to aid officials and rights groups. (APP)