4 Daesh leaders killed as Iraqi forces encircle strategic mosque

At least four ISIS leaders, including a Kurd, were killed by coalition jets in the neighborhood of Tenk in the embattled western half of the city of Mosul, Iraqi Military Intelligence announced on Tuesday, amid advances by security forces.

According to the statement, warplanes of the US-led coalition located the leaders’ hideouts and targeted them, killing four.

“Hazim al-Jabouri known as Abu Qais, ISIS police officer in Tank neighborhood, Mohammed Bajari known as Abu Shahin, head of Islam Military Regiment, Qidar Aqrawi known as Abu Salman al-Kurdi, military leader of ISIS in Tank, and Mujahid Anzi, known as Abu Mustafa, originally Saudi and head of Zakat Diwan,” were the four slain ISIS leaders named by Iraqi Military Intelligence.

Also in west Mosul, advancing Iraqi troops have completely surrounded the contested al-Hadba minaret and Nur mosque, Rudaw’s Farhad Dolamari reported from liberated Dewassa neighborhood.

According to military officials, the al-Hadba minaret and the mosque, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the Islamic State in June 2014, have fallen militarily as they are surrounded by the army.

The Iraqi army’s Rapid Response Force and Golden Division, fighting to bring the two strategic locations under control, are as close as 40 meters in one direction and 120 meters in another direction.

Heavy clashes are also taking place around Mosul stadium, Dolamari reported. The area has been under bombardment since early morning by Iraqi fighter jets and wide-ranging artillery.

ISIS militants, however, are fighting hard to resist the advancing troops.

The Mosul operation codenamed “We Are Coming Nineveh” has killed around 1,000 ISIS militants since it began on October 17 last year, according to the commander of the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdulamir Yaralla.

Yaralla told Rudaw that the weeks-long clashes in western Mosul which started in mid-February had been “intense due to ISIS preparations ahead of the operation, digging tunnels and placing road bombs around the neighborhoods.”

He also estimated that some “330 square kilometers have been retaken since the start of the west Mosul operation which has so far involved 62 operations.”

Source: rudaw.net

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