Mosul vic­tory is just ‘tens of me­ters’ away

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Iraqi com­man­ders said Satur­day their forces are “tens of me­ters” away from de­feat­ing the Is­lamic State group in Mosul, a day af­ter a ma­jor coun­ter­at­tack by the mil­i­tants.

The Joint Op­er­a­tions Com­mand said “our units are still con­tin­u­ing to ad­vance . . . . Not much is left be­fore our forces reach the river.”

Iraqi of­fi­cials have made sim­i­lar pro­nounce­ments over the past week as se­cu­rity forces have bot­tled the mil­i­tants up in a sliver of the Old City along the Ti­gris River. But the troops’ progress has slowed.

The mil­i­tants hold less than one square kilo­me­ter (mile) of ter­ri­tory but are us­ing civil­ians as hu­man shields, mak­ing it nearly im­pos­si­ble for U.S.-led war­planes to flush them out.

On Satur­day the mil­i­ta­rized fed­eral po­lice an­nounced that they had cleared their as­signed sec­tor, while the reg­u­lar army and spe­cial forces con­tin­ued to bat­tle the ex­trem­ists. Some units re­main as much as 150 me­ters from the river.

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