Bombing intensifies as Iraqi forces come closer to Old City of Mosul

Bombing intensified at northwest of Mosul by Iraqi forces. The forces are trying to capture Old City of Mosul from Islamic State militants.

Iraq's elite Ministry of Interior unit known as the Rapid Response said that they have fully seized the 17 Tammuz district and were now shelling the neighboring district of Najjar in preparation of storming it.

As fighting intensified, families streamed out of Mosul's 17 Tammuz front-line district, joining an exodus of 435,000 people who have been displaced from the western half of the city since Iraqi forces began attacking it in February.

Backed by a U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces have dislodged ISIS from all but about 12 square km (five square miles) of the city and are seeking to claim victory before the holy month of Ramadan in less than two weeks.

The United Nations said on Thursday up to 200,000 more people might flee Mosul as Iraqi forces push into the last districts held by ISIS militants.

ISIS militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, when they swept across the country's north in the summer of 2014.

Gradually, Iraq forces have reclaimed the territory from IS militants. In October last year, massive operation against IS militants in Mosul was launched by Iraqi forces.
Last Update:: 24/05/2017
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