Mosul (Iraq): Iraqi forces have captured two-thirds of the Old City of Mosul, which was the main stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq, the commander of the federal police said on Sunday.
Raed Shaker Jawdat said in a statement that IS lost 80 percent of its defence lines, adding that declaring victory was only a matter of time, reports Efe.
The Federal Police units were now very close to al-Sarj Khana district, one of the last remaining IS strongholds in the Old City.
The IS militants' current strategy is to hide among residents, according to Jawdat, who noted that the police forces were skilfully handling the situation in order to isolate the extremists and get all civilians out of harm's way.
Government forces liberated the eastern sector of Mosul in an offensive that lasted from October 2016 to January 2017, while in mid-February another incursion began to free the western half of the city that is divided into two by the river Tigris.
The Islamic State captured Mosul and announced a new caliphate there in June 2014.
Updated Date: Jun 25, 2017 17:13:17 IST