Iraqi forces said on Tuesday they had taken back from the extremist Islamic state (EI) almost 90 percent of the western part of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
The EI still controls “10.5 percent of the right bank” of the Tigris River, which divides the northern city of the country into two, General Yahya Rasul, spokesman for joint operations command of Iraqi forces, said at a news conference In Baghdad.
Iraqi troops, backed by an international anti-Jihadist coalition led by Washington, began an extensive offensive on October 17 to oust the EI from its Mosul stronghold.
At the end of January, the country’s forces seized control of the eastern part of the city, and on February 19 they began the attack on the west, including the old area, a densely populated area with narrow streets, which hamper the troops.
According to Rasul, the extremists keep control of only a few neighborhoods in the old area.
Humanitarian organizations estimate that nearly 250,000 civilians are trapped in the western part of Mosul.
The EI, a Sunni extremist organization, won wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014 but has lost much of its space since then, as a result of the two offensive it faces in two countries.