Thick black smoke could be seen rising from buildings and air strikes hit Mosul’s Old City on Sunday (July 2) as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces advanced on Islamic State’s remaining redoubt in the city.
A U.S.-led international coalition is providing air and ground support to the offensive, which Iraqi army and federal police units are also taking part in, attacking from different directions.
The destroyed minaret of the al-Nuri Mosque, in which Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate” three years ago, could be seen amongst destroyed buildings. The Mosque was captured by Iraqi forces on Thursday (June 29), an Iraqi military statement said.
The fall of Mosul would in effect mark the end of the Iraqi half of the Islamic State caliphate, although the group still controls territory west and south of Mosul, ruling over hundreds of thousands of people.