DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:45 A.M.) – The Iraqi Armed Forces are moving ever closer to complete victory in the country’s second largest city after government troops spearheaded new key advancements on the western bank of the Tigris River on Thursday.

After liberating four neighborhoods earlier in the week, the Iraqi Army continued its blitz offensive by taking control of the Al-Rafaee district around noon.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, the Counter Terrorism Units began storming the Al-Najar neighborhood parallel to the Tigris River, thereby isolating the Old City and Al-Zanjali districts from a handful of ISIS-held suburbs to the north.

Should the Iraqi Armed Forces seize control of the Al-Najar neighborhood entirely, they would secure Mosul’s northern 5th bridge and deal a devastating blow to ISIS insurgents.

However, Iraqi contingents did not stop there as the Federal Police and Rapid Response Division proceeded to liberate the adjacent Al-Aqtasadeen neighborhood, an urban advance which reduced Islamic State control of Mosul city to less than 5%.

In addition, Iraqi troops liberated the ancient Christian monastery in the historically Assyrian Hawi Al-Kanisah area in northwestern Mosul and capture most of the vital ’17th Tammuz’ district.

Around 500 ISIS militants remain held up in the city, most of which are concentrated around the densely populated Old City neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Amaq Agency published a 40-minute Islamic State propaganda video depicting the battle for Mosul from the jihadist perspective.

Click here for a recent battle map of Mosul.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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