The Iraqi military is closing in on ISIL forces in Mosul’s Old City. The number of militants in Mosul has dropped from thousands to hundreds. As insurgents are packed in, so are civilians and ISIL militants aren’t the only thing they need to look out for.
CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
Iraqi forces have an estimated 300 ISIL fighters surrounded, trapped in an area just 250 square meters.
Dozens of officers from the Iraqi police elite rapid response unit wait to charge forward. The order, however, never comes. They’re receiving word from ahead that the road is filled with mines and snipers, and must wait.
ISIL has booby-trapped much of the Old City, slowing the Iraqi forces’ advance. ISIL cannot win this battle, but they have inflicted misery as they’ve been overcome. Countless explosives have been discovered by Iraqi police, but hundreds, if not thousands more, aremain undetected.
On this road (me walking), four soldiers were killed by a landmine Wednesday.
Some civilians have managed to dodge the mines and reach safety. They are hungry and thirsty, but also grateful to be alive.
While the explosive traps rattle the Iraqi forces, many still have pushed forward. Meanwhile, ISIL’s position in the Old City continues to shrink.