On Thursday, Iraqi security forces (ISF), backed up by the US-led coalition, successfully advanced al-Shahwan district in the Old Mosul area in western Mosul and de-facto reached the Tigris River. The goal was to separate ISIS units and to accelerate the collapse of the terrorist group’s defense in the area.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Federal Police seized an ISIS training center known as ‘Abu Massoud camp’ at al-Bouseif village, south of Mosul. The camp was located 10 meters under the ground and extended along 1,500 meters.
ISIS temporarily cut off the Sharqat-Qayara road south of Mosul after an attack on the positions of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) there. Five PMU fighters were allegedly killed. The terrorist group also captured a Humvee and a T-72 tank.
Late on Thursday and early on Friday, reports started appearing in social media and pro-government media outlets that ISF have fully liberated the city of Mosul from ISIS. However, no official announcement confirming these allegations has appeared so far. The security situation in western Mosul, including the recently liberated areas of Old Mosul, as well as in eastern Mosul are very complicated. Earlier this week, the Iraqi military said that it had info about at least 100 ISIS suicide bombers operating in Mosul.
Thus, even if the Iraqi military officially declares the victory over ISIS in the city, there will be a lot of work to neutralize remaining ISIS sleeper cells and raid units.
Nonetheless, the formal victory in Mosul will be a major blow to ISIS in Iraq and Syria and will be another important step in liberating the remaining areas controlled by terrorists.