Special forces consolidate gains in eastern Mosul
Iraq’s special forces, mopping up in territory seized in eastern Mosul, killed eight Islamic State militants Wednesday as residents fled to safety from nearby areas and men shaved the beards they were forced to grow while the extremists were in control.
In the easternmost district of Gogjali, shops were boarded up, with some reduced to burned-out shells. Families stood in their doorways, some holding white flags, while children flashed the “V’’ for victory sign to the passing troops. A few women ululated in celebration as columns of vehicles passed.
Consolidating the gains in the area lays the groundwork for the troops’ next stage of operation: entering Mosul’s more urban central neighborhoods, a densely built-up zone likely to contain booby traps and roadside bombs.
That could mean house-to-house combat and might take weeks, if not months, with the city center about 6 miles away.