Iraqi forces advance through the Old City of Mosul on June 25, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the last district held by Takfiri Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)
A senior commander says Iraqi forces have so far managed to liberate two thirds of Mosul’s Old City from the grip of Daesh terrorists as they are engaged in fierce street battles to purge the country’s second largest city of Takfiri elements.
Sixty-five to 70 percent of the Old City has been liberated, there is less than a square kilometer left to retake,” Lieutenant Colonel Salam al-Obeidi of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said on Sunday.
He estimated that only “a few hundred Daesh militants” are left in the Old City.
Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi, have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle to retake the city began nine months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.
Daesh terrorists kill 7 Iraqi civilians, cut bodies into pieces
Members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have reportedly killed seven civilians in Iraq’s northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk as the militants continue to perpetrate various crimes against humanity in areas under their control.
This file photo shows members of the Takfiri Daesh militant group in an undisclosed location in Iraq. 
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network that Daesh extremists slapped charges of “communication with Iraqi government forces” against the victims, and then executed them in the town of Hawijah, located about 282 kilometers(175 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, on Sunday.
The source added that terrorists cut the bodies into pieces afterward, put them in plastic bags and distributed them among local residents to be thrown away in the southern outskirts of Hawijah.
Daesh mortar attack kills 4 civilians in Salahuddin
Meanwhile, four civilians have lost their lives in a mortar attack by Daesh on a residential neighborhood in the northern province of Salahuddin.
A displaced Iraqi woman, who was injured while fleeing from Daesh terrorists in Mosul, receives treatment at a hospital west of Erbil, Iraq, November 25, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
A police officer, requesting not to be named, said the civilians were killed when several mortar shells fired by the Daesh terrorists struck al-Mazraa village in Baiji district, located some 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad.
30 Daesh terrorists killed as army jets strike areas in western Iraq
Separately, at least 30 Daesh terrorists have been killed in separate operations by the Iraqi Air Force in the country’s western province of Anbar.
The media bureau of Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said in a statement on Sunday that 20 extremists were killed as Iraqi military aircraft launched precision strikes against a militant hideout in the town of Rawa.
Another 10 Daesh militants were killed when Iraqi military aircraft bombarded a bomb-making workshop in the same town.

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