According to reports, Iraqi government forces have killed the Islamic State commander of Mosul’s Old City.
According to Independent, fighting intensified Tuesday as “civilians streamed out of western neighborhoods recaptured by the government, cold and hungry but relieved to be freed of the militants’ grip.”
Government forces also pushed into western Mosul. Federal police killed the Islamic State’s military commander of the Old City, Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, during the operations to clear the Bab al-Tob district.
This is a major blow to the terrorist group’s efforts to defend their area of control.
Independent reports: “Capturing the Iron Bridge [that links western and eastern Mosul] would mean Iraqi forces hold three of the five bridges in Mosul that span the Tigris, all of which have been damaged by the militants and US-led air strikes. The southernmost two have already been retaken.”
Brigadier General Mahdi Abbas Abdullah of the Rapid Response force told Reuters, “We are still moving toward the Iron Bridge. We are taking our snipers hiding in the surrounding building, we are still pushing for the Iron Bridge.”
Since the start of the offensive in October, Iraqi forces, with help from a US-led coalition, have retaken eastern Mosul and 30 percent of the western areas of the city from Islamic State militants.
“It’s very key for our forces to secure the riverside and prevent Daesh militants from turning around our advancing forces…Seizing the bridge will help further tighten the noose around Daesh fighters entrenched inside the old city,” a Rapid Response spokesman said Tuesday morning.