Islamic State Losing Ground in Mosul
The Iraqi military command says that the Islamic State now controls just seven percent of western Mosul, and that Iraqi forces now control about 50 percent of the area. Iraqi forces launched an offensive in February to eliminate Islamic State from the area, after having taken the eastern side of the city in January. The fighting in western Mosul has been more complicated because the streets are narrow and densely packed. Last week, a US airstrike reportedly killed more than 200 civilians in Mosul. It has been described as a “humanitarian disaster” by Iraqi Vice President Osama Nujaifi, and United Nations officials said they were “profoundly concerned” by the attack. The Pentagon released a statement, saying it had targeted ISIS militants and equipment “at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties”. The coalition respects human life, which is why we are assisting our Iraqi partner forces in their effort to liberate their lands from ISIS brutality.” A spokesman for the Joint Operations command of the US-backed Iraqi forces said that the troops are currently besieging Islamic State members stationed at central Mosul’s Grand Nuri Mosque where the founder of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the caliphate in 2014.