Iraqi forces, remaining Islamic State militants clash in Mosul

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  July 11, 2017 at 11:54 AM
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July 11 (UPI) -- Iraqi security forces and Islamic State militants who have not surrendered are clashing in Mosul on Tuesday days after Iraq declared victory in the city.

The U.S.-led international coalition battling the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday said Iraqi forces were fighting a "handful" of Islamic State militants in Mosul's Old City.

U.S. Army Col. Joseph Scrocca, a coalition public affairs officer, told BBC News there are is also "countless number of explosive devices that still have to be dismantled before people can start returning home."

Helicopters also are carrying out airstrikes against positions taken by the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, ISIS and Daesh.

"Right now, there are a handful of holdout ISIS terrorists that the Iraqi security forces are still trying to root out of the Old City," Scrocca said.

In the Old City's al-Shahwan district, Iraqi special forces arrested seven people suspected of having links to the Islamic State on Tuesday, Iraqi News reported.

"Security forces arrested seven militants linked to the IS early Tuesday in al-Shahwan district in the Old City area in western Mosul," a security source told Shafaaq News. "The forces are clearing the area and evacuating civilians who did not manage to leave the area on Monday."

Iraq declared victory in Mosul on Sunday but the United Nations said that though the battle against the Islamic State for Mosul ended, a humanitarian crisis persists as hundreds of thousands of residents cannot return home.

The United Nations said it has received 43 percent of the $985 million it estimates it needs to meet the needs of those affected by the conflict wrought by the Islamic State.

Lise Grande, the United Nation's humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, on Monday said that 15 of west Mosul's 54 residential neighborhoods are heavily damaged, while 23 are moderately damaged -- which inhibits the safe return of residents.

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