IS militants pledge to 'fight to the death' in Mosul

Iraqi commander says 300 ISIS fighters holed up in Mosul

Tillerson: Trump and Putin Talks 'Robust'

"We are just a few meters from the Tigris River".

Citing correspondents embedded with state forces, the channel claimed it is now "a matter of hours" before the city is returned to government control.

Some Iraqi soldiers celebrated, dancing with rifles and machineguns and waving the national flag as they reached their assigned targets, without waiting for a formal victory announcement to be made, a Reuters TV crew said.

The decaying bodies of foreign jihadists are piling up among the ruins of Mosul where the last few dozen Islamic State group fighters are mounting a desperate last stand.

Canadian Brigadier General Dave Anderson, who oversees the training of local forces for the US-led coalition, said Iraqi security forces have pushed IS into a final, small pocket of Mosul's Old City by the Tigris River.

As Iraqi troops closed in on Mosul over the past few months, the Islamic State seized civilian homes and trapped families inside while they staged attacks from the rooftops against USA -led coalition forces to lure American airstrikes. The United Nations estimates that up to 20,000 civilians are trapped in the Old City neighborhood and warns they are in "extreme danger".

Iraqi forces declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" in January.

Nearly exactly three years ago, the extremist group's leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, declared from Mosul a "caliphate" over adjoining parts of Iraq and Syria.

Stripped of Mosul, Islamic State's dominion in Iraq will be reduced to mainly rural, desert areas west and south of the city where tens of thousands of people live.

Months of grinding urban warfare in Mosul have displaced 900,000 people, about half the city's pre-war population, and killed thousands, according to aid organizations.

But as they lose most of the territory they brought under their control about three years ago, ISIS militants are making use of hit-and-run and surprise attacks.

The United Nations predicts it will cost more than US$1 billion (Dh3.7bn) to fix basic infrastructure in Mosul.

Latest News