Iraqi Forces invade key mosque under ISIS control in Western Mosul

Iraqi Forces invade key mosque under ISIS control in Western Mosul
Wed Jun 21, 2017 16:19:02

Iraqi government forces invaded on Wednesday the vicinity of a medieval mosque in western Mosul where ISIS' self-proclaimed “caliphate” was first declared in 2014, military media said.

(iraqinews) -- The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said forces destroyed a weapons reservoir and killed ten militants near the Grand Nuri Mosque in the Old City, where ISIS’ supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a sermon declaring the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria.

Three other militants were pounded by army warplanes inside their vehicle on the district’s outskirts, according to the statement.

Akhbar Alaan quoted military sources saying the troops were searching for senior IS leaders hiding among civilians they had brought to the Old City from neighboring districts. It added that the forces had reached al-Farouq street which leads to the mosque.

The website also said it received information that IS militants had executed 150 civilians who tried to flee towards security forces as they approached the mosque.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, took over eastern Mosul from ISIS in January after three months of fighting, later launching another offensive in mid February to retake the western side of the city.