Thursday, August 17, 2017 | 12:51 PM


IS ‘on brink of defeat’ in Mosul

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Whatsapp

Iraqi forces have recaptured nearly 90 percent of west Mosul from the Islamic State group and jihadists in the city are on the "brink of total defeat", officers said on Tuesday.

Iraqi forces launched the massive operation to retake Mosul from IS nearly seven months ago, fighting their way to the jihadist-held city, retaking its eastern side and then attacking the west.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, told a news conference in Baghdad that IS now controls just over 10 percent of west Mosul.

Both Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi, a senior Iraqi special forces commander, and Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for the US-led international coalition against IS, said that the end was near for jihadists in the city.

"They have two options: die and go to hell or raise the white flag. They have no third option," Saadi told AFP at his headquarters in Mosul.

"The enemy is completely surrounded," Dorrian told the news conference in Baghdad. "The enemy is on the brink of total defeat in Mosul."

The drive to retake Mosul has been supported by a campaign of coalition air strikes in and around the city.

Dorrian said that coalition strikes have destroyed more than 300 explosives-rigged vehicles in Mosul, as well as over 200 IS tunnels and more than a thousand jihadist fighting positions.

IS now controls just a handful of neighbourhoods around the Old City, one of the country’s heritage jewels.

The area’s narrow streets and closely spaced buildings make it difficult for federal forces to take on the jihadists, requiring them to fight on foot instead of from vehicles as they have previously done.