Today, it is fighting desperately to keep its last major stronghold in the western side of Mosul as well as smaller areas in Tal Afar, Hawija in northern Iraq, Qaim and Aana near the border with Syria in the western province of Anbar. "They are distributed around the regions and they do not have centralized command", Lt. Col. Imad Khalaf said. He was an employee at the morgue in Mosul when Islamic State overran the city in the summer of 2014 and kept working there until just over one month ago. "Among the dead were two judges and head of the high committee to supervise ISIS military bases", Jawdat detailed.
He went on to identify one of the two slain terrorists as Abdul Qadir Mahmoud al-Hamdouni, otherwise known as Abu Sajee.
Who was the IS mufti? Iraqi Christians around Mosul celebrated Palm Sunday for the first time in three years, including at a church burned by ISIS in Qaraqosh.
Amid reports that operations were slowing down or stalled in the western half of Mosul after mass civilian casualties in March, spokesperson for the operations, Brigadier General Yahya Rasul issued a denial. "Their ability and capability became stronger and more developed" since the jihadists shocked Iraqi security and intelligence forces with their lightning offensive in June 2104, says Mr. Hashimi. "I don't want to say they continue to advance at pace, when in reality, it's very, very slow and it's a very, very hard, gut-busting fight between our forces and theirs", he said during a teleconference.
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Colonel Dorrian said the fight in Western Mosul had been tough but said IS fighters had no escape.
The stench hits you long before you reach the morgue where the latest casualties of war between Islamic State militants and Iraqi forces are kept.
More than 300 square miles have been cleared since west Mosul operations began mid-February, he said.
She stressed that homes are being destroyed, schools and health centres damaged and that crucial public infrastructure, including electricity and water stations, are in ruins.