MOSUL, Iraq (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi security forces on Wednesday continued their advance in western Mosul reaching the outskirts of the Mosque where the Islamic State’s (IS) leader announced the caliphate.
In their campaign to retake western Mosul from the insurgent group, Iraqi forces approached the Great Mosque of al-Nuri where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.
A Kurdistan24 reporter said clashes are ongoing in the Bab al-Tob neighborhood of the Old City.
Forces believe the fight in the area will be the toughest due to narrow alleys and closely spaced buildings.
Baghdadi has reportedly abandoned the fight, and his whereabouts are unknown, according to Iraqi and US officials.
On Oct. 17, 2016, Iraqi security and Peshmerga forces launched an operation to liberate Mosul, IS’ last stronghold in the country.
Since then, forces have freed the eastern part of the city while clashes in the West continue.