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Iraq: Federal Police Launches New Attack on Old City | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Federal Police fires his rifle at ISIS militants’ positions at Bab al Jadid district in the old city of Mosul, Iraq, March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Mosul – Iraqi forces launched a new attack on ISIS in Mosul’s Old City on Sunday, military officials said, trying to break the stalemate in attempts to seize the militants’ last stronghold.

The advance has hardly moved for more than a month, though, as the militants are holding out in the densely populated Old City in western Mosul, where tanks and heavy vehicles are not able to operate because of its narrow streets.

Iraq’s federal police moved forces 200 meters deeper into the Old City, getting closer to al-Nuri mosque, a statement said. The mosque is highly symbolic because it was there that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself head of a self-proclaimed caliphate.

Raed Shaker Jawdat, head of the Iraqi federal police, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the forces advanced towards the remaining Old City since the early morning hours and that the police snipers are laying control over the region surrounding al-Nuri mosque.

A captain in the federal police said Sunday’s advance had started in the early morning with troops fighting militants house to house.

“ISIS suicide motorcycles now are their favorite weapon inside the Old City,” he said. “We have to watch every single house to avoid attackers on motorcycles packed with explosives,” he added.

Spokesperson of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Saeed Mamozini stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS carried out a mass execution of 13 of its members for accusations of information leakage.”

Mamozini added that the execution was performed infront of the citizens and ISIS armed members. He also revealed that the organization raided Hay al-Tanak with Chlorine gas.