The Russian Sputnik quoted Member of the Nineveh province council Hossam al-Abbar as saying that Iraqi forces managed to liberate 97 percent of the Western side of Mosul, besieging more than 450 militants in the region.
“Federal Police and Rapid Reaction forces are heading towards the liberation of al-Shifa, al-Zanjili and al-Sihha neighborhoods, once done they will be capable of attacking the Old City from all directions,” he said in his statements.
On Sunday, Federal Police Chief Shaker Jawdat said military forces were positioning at the Southern outskirts of 17 Tamuz, the first neighborhood occupied by ISIL in 2014 which troops recaptured on Saturday, preparing to invade the Old City.
Iraqi troops recaptured Eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and the Iraqi security command said earlier this week it controls 89.5 percent of the Western side of the city, three months after a second phase of the campaign launched to recapture that region.
The densely populated and structured Old City is the place where ISIL supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria.