ISIS-held sections of Mosul surrounded

Posted March 14, 2017

"Mosul's liberation is increasingly in sight albeit with increasingly hard fighting ahead", McGurk said, adding that Iraqi forces were retaking "some of the most hard ground that we knew would have to be reclaimed".

It is three weeks since Iraqi forces launched a campaign to recapture districts west of the Tigris River that bisects Mosul.

In mid-February, Iraqi forces - backed by a US -led air coalition - began fresh operations aimed at dislodging Daesh terrorists from western Mosul.

Saadi said CTS forces were battling IS inside the Mosul al-Jadida and Al-Aghawat areas in west Mosul on March 12. "The Iraqi forces controlled the high-rises where they sent snipers and ammunition on their rooftops", Jawdat said.

"The Federal Police and Rapid Response units have stormed the neighbourhood of Bab al-Toub in the Old Quarter", a security source said.

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Image copyright Reuters Image caption People leave the village of Badoush as the battle between Iraqi forces and IS intensifies Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Iraqi forces target IS positions near Badoush, some 15km (9.3 miles) northwest of Mosul What happened at the prison?

Iraqi troops backed by the USA military are tightening their grip around the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the city of Mosul. Thousands of Iraqi civilians have died in the fighting since October, and a total of more than 200,000 in total displaced from their homes.

IS seized Mosul in mid-2014 and swept across areas north and west of Baghdad, taking control of swathes of territory and declaring a "caliphate" straddling the border with Syria. It is very evident that a permissive environment is emerging for another Sunni insurgency in the vacuum of control left by ISIS, into which other actors would surely emerge. The US should expect to remain involved in Iraq to ensure that anti-ISIS gains stick and that conditions that allowed insurgent groups to emerge in 2013 are resolved.

The Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces, a government-sponsored coalition of local militias, said human remains in prison uniforms were found at the site when it was recaptured by Iraqi fighters last week.

"We are waiting for forensic teams and human rights officials to begin unearthing the grave to uncover the whole story of how the ruthless criminal Daesh (Islamic State) killed them in cold blood only because they were from a certain sect", Nouri said.