BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 P.M.) – After liberating the Mualameen and Al-Silo neighborhoods earlier in the day, the Iraqi Armed Forces are now just a few hundred meters from Al-Nuri Mosque in northwestern Mosul, the site where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of his very own caliphate.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr has been rumoured dead numerous times but is believed to have fled Mosul prior to the Iraqi Army cutting off the northern city from the rest of the Islamic State mainland.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) liberated seven villages on the rural outskirts of the embattled city, thus cementing its control over the main road linking Tal Afar with Mosul.

The villages in mention are the following: Al-Buwiter, Darnaj, Hamidat, Al-Akilat, Talhah, Al-Beetar and Rayhaniyah. Effectively, the PMU has fully encircled ISIS militants around the town of Badush, northwest of Mosul.

Meanwhile, credible reports suggest the battle for Mosul has virtually wiped out two military wings of the otherwise secretive ISIS army, namely ‘Tariq Bin Ziyad’ and the ‘Al-Farouq Armoured Brigade’. The infamous ‘Caliphate Cubs’ are still putting up a fight in Mosul, comprising a significant percentage of ISIS’ forces in the city.

At the moment, around 2,000 ISIS fighters are estimated to be bogged down in Mosul.

ISIS relies primarily on car bombs, snipers and booby traps to curtail the Iraqi Army’s large-scale offensive.

Heavy clashes continue inside Mosul while Iraqi government troops have established control over around 85% of the northern city.

Click here for the latest map of the region.

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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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