Iraqi army wins back Mosul district in battle against Daesh

Federal police watch Islamic State positions during fighting in the Old City

The combined efforts of a host of global and regional state and non-state actors against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have reduced the so-called caliphate's control of Mosul to one district and surrounded its fighters in Raqqa, resulting in more of ISIS' militants fleeing Iraq and Syria and fewer foreign fighters joining it.

In a related development Sunday, Daesh militants attacked Peshmerga positions in northwestern Kirkuk, leading to two hours of clashes in that city.

"The victory announcement will come in a very short time", Al-Abadi said on his website.

The fall of the northern Iraqi city would mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" proclaimed by ISIS, though the militant group remains in control of large areas of both Iraq and Syria.

TRT World's Soraya Lennie reports from Erbil.

Troops are now retaking territories in Mosul's Old City. Despite the fact that ISIS now faces a stark new operational reality with less territory under its control and having suffered major symbolic and tactical losses, it is premature to conclude that the struggle against ISIS is over because numerous factors that contributed to its rise remain.

The army's 16th infantry division captured Hadarat al-Saada and al-Ahmadiyya, the military said in a statement.

The militants force women and children to cover them in the streets as they know that Iraqi security forces will not target civilians, he said. ISIS uses auto bombs as well as snipers to hamper the advances of the Iraqi army. Residents who have escaped from the Old City, say that they have little food, water or medicine in the Old City.

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A USA -led global coalition is providing air and ground support in the eight-month-old offensive.

Front lines were quiet in the Old City on Tuesday as Iraqi special forces scouted the terrain.

But as it advances, the human toll in Mosul becomes clearer. Troops ducked into narrow alleyways, through bright courtyards and up balconies to reach positions with a view of the now destroyed grand Al-Nouri Mosque.

The UN has said that at least 750,000 people have fled since operations to recapture Mosul began.

The group has carried out sporadic suicide bombings in parts of Mosul using sleeper cells.

But despite staggering territorial losses, Daesh has managed to launch a number of counterattacks and insurgent assaults inside some Mosul neighborhoods that were retaken from Daesh earlier this month.

Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha'abi, have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.