Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Forat news agency that the top-ranked militant, identified by the nom de guerre Abu Yahya Iraqi, was the deputy of purported ISIL leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Meanwhile, a top Daesh commander, known as Abu Nasser al-Shami, has been killed in the cellar district of Mosul’s Old City.
Staff Lieutenant General Abdulghani al-Assadi, a senior commander in the Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) had announced that the ISIL Takfiri terrorists are engaged in a “fight to the death” in Mosul’s Old City as advancing Iraqi forces have bottled up the group’s remaining elements in a few patches of the Old City.
The Iraqi forces continued their non-stop battle against ISIL terrorists in the Old City of Mosul, inching closer to winning back the key district.
The Iraqi state TV announced approximately ten days ago that the ISIL collapsed in Mosul after the army regained control of al-Nuri mosque where the terrorist group’s ringleader proclaimed his self-styled “caliphate” three years ago.
The army won back control of the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul.
The ISIL militants had committed another historical crime by blowing up the al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret. The 850 year-old Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque is highly symbolic because it was there that leader of the ISIL group, Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared himself the so-called caliphate of the Takfiri terrorist group, shortly after the flashpoint city fell to terrorists in June 2014 and became their de facto capital in Iraq.
Meantime, the Iraqi defense ministry declared that “no region in Mosul city was under the ISIL terrorists’ control”.
The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key ISIL stronghold in Iraq, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s Eastern part in January 2017. The Iraqi Army started a new phase of its military operation in Nineveh province late February to drive the ISIL terrorists out of their bastion in the Western part of the city of Mosul