Elements of Iraqi army and American forces participating in the current battles witnessed in Mousl put masks on their faces to avoid the bad smell emitting from the dead bodies under the rubble of destroyed buildings. The International Coalition, led by the U.S, resumed their bombardment against the strongholds of the extremist group in the Iraqi city.
Iraqi military leaders said that it is difficult job to extract the dead bodies during the current period, while they give the priority to treat the injured civilians, saying that the battles continue between the Iraqi troops and International Coalition on one hand and ISIS extremist group on the other hand. The Iraqi army resumed its missile and artillery attack against the city’s districts still controlled by ISIS.
Over half a million Iraqi citizens face the danger of death in Mousl’s right bank in the framework of the current battles between the Iraqi governmental troops on one hand and the extremist militants loyal to ISIS on the other hand, as the number of deaths among the civilians witnessed notable increase.
According the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, Iraqi security forces and International Coalition resume intensive bombardment against the residential districts of the Iraqi city. Medical source revealed that the civilians living in the areas of conflict suffer from Psychological problems due to the increasing fights witnessed in their areas.
The observatory continued that a large number of residential buildings have been destroyed in the districts of Farouk and Sargakhana, adding that the extremists sentenced a whole family to death last week at Resala district during their attempt to escape to an area controlled by the Iraqi governmental troops.
In the same context, military source revealed that rapid response troops managed to control the streets of Ghazi, Nineveh and Adala and Harag Market in the central area of the city, saying that the Iraqi troops raised flags over these streets after inflicting the enemy with heavy losses in lives and equipment.
Spokesperson of Iraqi troops Yahia Rasool revealed that the Iraqi forces resumed their advance in the districts of Resala and Nables, saying that they managed to control large swaths of both districts. Leading member of Nineveh Operations Najm Al Jabori revealed that dozens of ISIS militants have surrendered to the Iraqi troops.
The Iraqi Federal Police command said Monday its troops resumed advances towards a strategic mosque in western Mosul as operations continue to clear the region from Islamic State militants. The command said its forces proceeded towards Al-Hadbaa (leaning) Minaret at the Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a famous sermon in 2014 proclaiming the establishment of an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq.
The statement said forces had killed 36 Islamic State members and destroyed 13 booby-trapped vehicles.
Inclement weather over the past few days had added to the difficulties facing Iraqi troops eyeing the Old City, a strategic target where the mosque is located. The area’s narrow alleyways and the density of the civilian population therein had prompted Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition troops to rely solely on precision air and artillery strikes without advancing on the ground.
Iraqi government troops recaptured eastern Mosul in January and are working to retake the western side of the city, making a remarkable progress by recapturing major government facilities, the city’s airport and a major military base. Operations in Mosul have displaced more than 200.000 civilians since October, according to Iraqi government and United Nations counts.
On the political side, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Washington early Monday in a visit made as per an official invitation from President Donald Trump.
The Iraqi government said in a statement that the prime minister flew late Sunday and arrived Monday to the U.S. where he meets, besides Trump, with several U.S. Administration officials and Congress members.
The statement said the meetings will focus on cooperation in security, military, economic and other fields.
Abadi is also scheduled to attend a meeting by the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State.
The U.S. coalition has backed the Iraqi government in its five-month-old campaign against Islamic State militants in Mosul and other provinces. Inaugurated as a U.S. president in January, Trump has stressed that faster elimination of Islamic State’s threat was top priority for his administration.
The two countries adhere to a joint agreement signed in 2008 that regulates military, political and economic relations between both, and which led to the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011.