June 23, 2017

HOUSE TO HOUSE IN THE OLD CITY: Bitter combat in Mosul as Iraqi forces tighten the noose.

U.S.-trained urban warfare units are leading the fight in the maze of narrow alleyways of the Old City, the last district in the hands of the Sunni Islamist insurgents.

Iraqi authorities are hoping to declare victory in the northern Iraqi city in the Muslim Eid holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, during the next few days.

Military analysts say government troops’ advance will gather pace after Islamic State fighters blew up the 850-year-old al-Nuri mosque and its famous leaning minaret on Wednesday.

The report says Iraqi forces are attempting to open safe routes for civilians to escape from Islamic State fighters and avoid getting trapped in the final battle.

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