The last of the Islamic State militants remaining in the Iraqi city of Mosul were completely surrounded and “on the brink of total defeat,” a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said Tuesday.
Iraqi forces have reduced the amount of territory held by ISIS in the city to around 129 square miles, Iraq Brigadier Gen. Yahya Rasool said at a news conference,Reuters reported.
The recent advancement in Mosul came after Brett McGurk, a special presidential envoy for the coalition against the Islamic State, said Monday that the fight against the militants was entering its “final stages.”
“The world is now seeing that (Iraqi) soldiers are completely destroying Daesh,” McGurk said.
McGurk and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Sillman ment with Iraqi officials, who were asking for additional aid in the fight against the Islamic State, not weapons and training.
“We are looking for more support as the west side of the city will be liberated soon,” Maj. Gen. Muhammed al-Shimary with Nineveh Operations Command told McGurk after thanking him for U.S. assistance in the fight so far.
The operation to retake Mosul was launched in October 2016. The initial phase was marked by rapid territorial gains but the fight for the western part of the city turned out to be longer and devastating. It has resulted in the loss of infrastructure and took the lives of many civilians.