"But make no mistake, they had two years-plus to dig elaborate defenses, use commercial off-the-shelf drone technology, we've seen them use snipers, we've seen them use [vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices] and now, as we move into this very dense urban terrain on the west side of Mosul where the, you know, roads may not even really be qualified as what most reasonable people would call a road, they're so narrow that it channelizes the advance for the Iraqi Security Forces". The terror group is desperately holding on to the remaining stronghold it occupies by putting up a fierce fight against the liberators.
ISIS controlled 40 percent of Iraqi territory in 2014 but that figure is now down to 6.8 percent as of March 31, after extensive military operations, Brig.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of United States forces in Iraq and Syria, confirmed in an interview today that he still wants more ground troops in Syria, saying the troops would be needed to "fight ISIS," and adding that he hoped the invasion of Raqqa would be "underway by this summer".
Ms. Grande pointed out that almost 300,000 civilians have already fled western Mosul and "hundreds of thousands more may in the days and weeks ahead".
ISIS is apparently overwhelmed by the Iraqi security forces consisting of army members as well as tens of thousands of Shiite and Sunni volunteers from militia groups.
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In contrast, the number of militants has dwindled to less than 2,000, most of whom are hiding in the heavily populated neighborhoods of western Mosul.
He is head of ground forces for the US-led coalition fighting ISIL.
"This enemy in Mosul is not going anywhere", he said, later adding, "They're not going to be able to leave to the west; they are cut off. ..."
"Every strike that we conduct, we conduct using precision-guided munitions".
Seven alleys in the neighborhood were recaptured, al-Alusi said, adding that his forces killed 15 armed militants and arrested another three; they also destroyed a booby-trapped vehicle through which a suicide bomber tried to target Iraqi troops. So we knew that it was going to be very hard. One of the reasons for that is because we want to do it in a manner that protects civilian life.
Syria never gave the USA permission to send ground troops to their country, but had mostly ignored that fact since the U.S. was fighting ISIS.