Wall Street Journal: Iraqis Push Deeper Into Islamic State’s Mosul Stronghold
Militants have been ousted from a number of neighborhoods in the campaign to retake the city.
MOSUL, Iraq—Iraqi troops pushed deeper into the country’s second largest city on Sunday, securing densely populated areas as commanders said Islamic State resistance began to buckle.
“The first neighborhoods were the hardest because Daesh desperately fought to retain them. Now, as we go forward, I expect the battle to get easier,” said Brig. Gen. Maan al Saadi, the commander of the 2nd Group of Iraqi Special Operations Forces, which are spearheading the Mosul offensive. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group.
“The enemy is collapsing and losing control, and we are now taking only two days to seize a neighborhood where we planned to be fighting for four days,” he said.
In the Arpachiya neighborhood, secured on Saturday, Abed Abu Ahmed marked the first morning free of Islamic State with a shave. The 63-year-old engineer stood outside his home Sunday, small cuts on his chin the only reminder of the beards Islamic State mandated for all adult males.
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