In what seems to be a shot in the arm for the Iraqi forces, the army in a statement has said, they are just a few hundred meters away from the Tigris River as they inch closer to fully recapturing Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
About 100 ISIL fighters are reported to be trapped in a sliver of the Old City along the Tigris on its western side. The armed group is said to control just two blocks.
Iraqi commanders said their troops were now just “tens of meters” away from defeating ISIL. The remnants of ISIS’ army were under siege, and more than 35 fighters and commanders were killed during fighting on the riverbanks.
The capture of 35 ISIS fighters trying to flee along the riverbanks signaled the collapse of the terrorist group’s destructive hold on Mosul. Troops were just meters (yards) from spots where the last fighters were holed up.
A declaration of victory was expected soon from Iraqi commanders and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose government in Baghdad had come under increasing political pressure to announce the end the operation.
As the Iraq forces makes their final push, approximately half of the population of the city is still displaced. Tens of thousands of people are likely to return to the city in the near future, placing pressure on the Iraqi government and the international community to begin rebuilding immediately.