ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The recently liberated Old City of Mosul has been closed off to civilians, and a curfew has been imposed following reports of a group of gunmen hiding in tunnels and houses in the area, according to the Iraqi Federal Police.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Federal Police confirmed intelligence reports’ claims that a group of IS cells operating in Mosul’s Old City was still posing a threat to civilians and security forces in the area.
The statement mentioned Iraqi security forces’ presence in the area would intensify and more stringent inspections of houses would be conducted to halt the militant group from carrying out further attacks.
On Monday, it was announced the Iraqi army would remain in control of security in Mosul until local police forces are ready.
Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi army’s joint operations command, said troops will not leave Mosul yet.
“There are no plans to withdraw military units from newly recaptured Mosul,” Rasool noted. “It’s too early for that.”
Regarding the training of local security forces, Rasool said the units must be ready to “maintain order in liberated areas” and “must bolster their security capabilities.”
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory in Mosul after nearly 10 months of heavy clashes with IS militants.
Meanwhile, nearly 40,000 soldiers are involved in an offensive to free the city of Tal Afar from IS, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Mosul.
The US-led coalition also confirmed it would continue to support Iraqi forces with air strikes as they advance in the city.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany