20:00 Nov. 4, 2016
Islamic State is slowly getting suffocated inside the encircled city
The Iraqi forces recaptured six districts of the city of Mosul on Friday amid the latest offensive against the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
"This is something very big - it means large parts of the left bank have been liberated," an Iraqi special forces commander Lieutenant-General Talib Shaghati said.
As the result of the Iraqi fresh advancement in the city, the Islamic State militants became surrounded inside the devastated urban blocks. Despite this, the Jihadists kept resisting the army's pressure and waging heavy urban warfare, the agency sources from inside the city report.
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Iraqi forces have advanced 1 mile deep inside Mosul so far. The newly recaptured districts are less build-up than other areas, particularly those on the Western bank of the Tigris river, where the population is more exclusively Sunni Muslim, the agency notes.
In these interim districts the Islamic State, which is an extreme Sunni Jihadist group, can be deeply embedded.
Mosul stays the only major Iraqi city under the IS control to date. It was captured by the ultra-hardline Islamist group in late 2014 and later became the place for the announcement of the so-called worldwide Islam khalifate, which is the ultimate aim for IS.
The Iraqi forces, supported by the U.S.-led coalition, Shia fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga, launched the offensive for Mosul in the mid-October. This operation became the Iraq governmental forces' biggest military engagement since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.