Islamic State ‘using everything it has’ to defend Mosul

Around 60,000 soldiers are participating in the Mosul offensive to retake the western parts of the city from IS (Photo: Jewan Abdi).

Iraqi security forces have pushed deeper into western Mosul, the last large urban stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.

The operation, involving 60,000 soldiers, has met fierce resistance from IS. “Drones, car bombs, snipers – IS are using everything they have, even puppies have been strapped with IEDs and used against the Iraqi army,” journalist Jewan Abdi told Kom News on Tuesday.

“We arrived at the front in the Tal al-Rumman district of Mosul. Within 30 minutes we were attacked by four car bombs and about 12 grenades from drones. We were under sniper fire too, one bullet was really close to my head, I was very lucky,” Abdi said, adding that journalists are now banned from the front due to the danger they face.“A few journalists have been injured since this phase of the operation began last week while Kurdish reporter Shifa Gerdi was killed” said Abdi from Erbil.

Iraqi forces took control of the city’s eastern half in January, thus completing an important phase in the offensive on Mosul that began in October last year. Around 700,000 civilians are estimated to be trapped in the eastern parts of the city.