Iraq: ISIL Moves Main Command Center from Mosul to Tal Afar
ISIL released a short announcement in the Centeral part of Tal Afar at around midday, declaring that it has moved all the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Caliphate from Mosul to Tal Afar, said the source.
The source further added that the Iraqi forces are now chasing the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists in the Western part of Mosul, adding that after the liberation of Old Mosul district, tens of ISIL militants have been killed or captured as they were fleeing the city.
Military sources confirmed that a number of ISIL commanders are among the dead terrorists, including a Saudi commander who sought to flee the Western bank of the Tigris River in Mosul toward the Eastern bank.
A military source said earlier today that the Iraqi security forces killed 35 ISIL militants and arrested six others while they were trying to flee their last redoubt in the Old City on the Western side of Mosul.
The militants were killed while they were trying to infiltrate from the western side, across Tigris River that bisects Mosul, to the liberated eastern side, the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
Meanwhile, JOC spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told reporters that the Iraqi forces are in full control of the Old City, despite sporadic clashes in some pockets in parts of neighborhoods stretching on the bank of the Tigris River.
“Our forces are continuing their advance to free the last parts of the Old City,” Rasoul said.
The fighting in the Old City is becoming heavier as Iraqi forces push the ISIL militants in the strip of land along the bank of the Tigris River. The desperate militants have been increasingly resorting to suicide attacks and showing stiff resistance that slowed the troops’ progress in the recent days.
And there were a large number of roadside bombs and booby-trapped buildings, in addition to ISIL snipers taking positions in the buildings and narrow alleys of heavily-populated neighborhoods, where thousands of civilians still live under ISIL rule.
Mosul, 400 km North of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, came under the militant group’s control in June 2014, when government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling ISIL to take control of parts of Iraq’s Northern and Western regions.