ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi security forces on Saturday continued their gradual advance in western Mosul, liberating new areas in the city as the displacement of civilians continued.
Iraqi security forces pushed through more areas under Islamic State (IS) control in Mosul’s Old City amid fierce resistance from the extremists in the densely-populated areas of western Mosul.
The commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Lieutenant General Rayid Shakir announced the Federal Police and Rapid Response Forces had closed in on IS insurgents.
Shakir said the forces approached Mosul’s Hadbaa minaret and the Great Mosque of al-Nuri where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014.
As the fighting reached the heavily-populated areas and narrow alleyways of western Mosul, more civilians had been displaced to the newly liberated areas, the Lieutenant General told Iraqi state television.
Over 100,000 have been displaced since the latest military campaign in western Mosul began on Feb. 19, according to the United Nations figures.
The number of displaced people has now reached nearly 255,000 since the launch of the Mosul operation in October 2016, Reuters reported.
According to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC), nearly 140,000 of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Mosul have resorted to camps in the Kurdistan Region.
Moreover, the JCC revealed that despite the liberation of the eastern part of Mosul, IDPs continued arriving in the Region on a daily basis.
The Centre added that “on average, every day, over 500 people reach Peshmerga front lines.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany