Iraqi forces advance on ISIS-held neighborhoods in western Mosul

Iraqi forces have made another step toward wresting Mosul from ISIS.

Security forces launched a large-scale military operation to take the remaining neighborhoods under ISIS control in western Mosul on Saturday, the country's Joint Operation Command said.

Soldiers are storming the Shifa neighborhood and al Jamhouri Hospital. Federal police are moving in on the al Zanjili district and Iraqi counter-terrorism forces are advancing on the al Saha al Awla neighborhood.

Once Iraqi forces take over these last remaining neighborhoods, the Iraqi government will announce the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, the command said.

In 2014, ISIS took control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Iraqi forces in October kicked off an offensive to retake the city.

The fighting has caused significant displacement. The Iraqi government said more than 742,000 people have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since the offensive began to oust ISIS from Mosul.

The UN migration agency Friday warned that the number of people fleeing western Mosul is soaring.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien expressed deep concern for the safety of civilians behind ISIS lines in western Mosul. He said people are lacking access to clean water and medicine, and many have limited access to food.

"Although the UN is not present in the areas where fighting is occurring, we have received very disturbing reports of families being shut inside booby-trapped homes and of children being deliberately targeted by snipers," he said.

Trump administration officials say the fight against ISIS has borne fruit.

The Pentagon said recently that ISIS has lost 55,000 square kilometers of territory and regained none of it.

Airstrikes have hit 2,600 ISIS-held oil and gas targets, resulting in the lowest revenue for the terror group since 2014, it said. In Mosul, 980 ISIS fighters have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.