The Iron Bridge which runs over the Tigris river and links eastern Mosul with the ISIS-held Old City on the west side, was taken by Iraqi forces on Wednesday.
Coalition forces have reclaimed three of the five bridges over the Tigris and Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, believes the evil terror group will soon be wiped from existence.
Abadi said: “Daesh [Islamic State] become day after day surrounded inside a tight area and they are in their final days.
“We will preserve families of Daesh who are civilians but we will punish the terrorists and bring them to justice if they surrender.
“They are cornered and if they will not surrender. They will definitely get killed.”
Earlier US envoy Brett McGurk said forces would not let ISIS jihadis escape as Iraqi troops cut off the last road out of Mosul on Monday.
The bridge, which was damaged in fighting late last year, was captured by federal police and Interior Ministry Rapid Response units.
The Iraqi government now has its sights set on taking the Nuri Mosque, where the Islamic States’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his so-called caliphate in 2014.
A federal police spokesman said: “Our troops are making a steady advance… and we are now less than 800 metres from the mosque.”
Losing Mosul would be a huge blow to Deash as the city has served as the group’s de facto capital since the terror group emerged in mid-2014.
But coalition gains in Mosul have been made on a street-by-street basis as Iraqi forces have been forced to fight amongst civilians held by the Islamic State, ruling out the extensive use of air and artillery support.
Up to 600,000 civilians are believed to still trapped inside Mosul.
Police commander Younes Jabouri said: “We’re on the edge of the Old City. There are lots of shops, garages and markets and a lot of residents and small streets and alleyways.
“It takes time because there are a lot of civilians and Daesh uses them as human shields, they don’t let them leave.”
The latest advancement comes as three separate forces advance on the ISIS de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa.
Let’s block ads! (Why?)
Daily Express :: World Feed