Iraqi security forces renewed clashes with ISIS militants across Mosul streets. The fighting is the first to take place after successfully breaking into the terror group’s stronghold.
As the offensive advances, Iraqi forces have locked control over the Kokjla area, located in eastern Mosul.
Counterterrorism forces raised the national flag over the Mosul’s state TV building as a sign of securing victory over the extremist gunmen in the neighborhood.
Special forces entered the eastern outskirts of the city earlier Tuesday, marking the first time Iraqi troops have set foot in Mosul since 2014.
A top military official at the taskforces headquarters along with other eyewitnesses said that ISIS terrorists have strategically installed snipers across rooftops hoping to slowdown the advance of Iraqi forces across residential areas.
One of the Quds neighborhood residents, in Mosul’s eastern vicinity, says that ISIS fire is visible to the naked eye, as it strikes Iraqi forces and vehicles in alleyways. The clashes have been downgraded to backstreet fighting, added the Iraqi citizen.
More so, the U.N. human rights office lauded efforts by the U.S.-led coalition in the battle against ISIS in Mosul.
The office in Geneva said that coalition flights over Iraq have largely succeeded in preventing ISIS from bringing in 25,000 civilians from ISIS-held areas into the city, where the militant group has been using people as human shields as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul.
OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Tuesday cited unspecified reports of ISIS sending trucks and minibuses to Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul, from where it was to bring people in.
She said coalition strikes along roadways largely prevented the transfer toward Mosul, forcing the trucks to turn back. She added some minibuses reached Abusaif along the way to Mosul.
Shamdasani also told reporters in Geneva that her office received new reports of “mass killings” by ISIS, including on Saturday of 40 former Iraqi security force members whose bodies were thrown into the Tigris River.