Iraqi troops are celebrating the clearing of Islamic State militants from some of their last strongholds in Mosul, but heavy fighting is still underway.
Lt. Gen. Jassim Nizal of the army’s 9th Division said Sunday his forces have achieved “victory” in the sector allotted to them, after a similar announcement by the militarized Federal Police. Iraqi special forces are still fighting a few hundred meters (yards) away.
Nizal’s soldiers danced to patriotic music atop tanks even as airstrikes sent plumes of smoke into the air nearby.
Iraq launched the operation to retake Mosul in October. IS now controls less than a square kilometer (mile) of territory in Mosul’s Old City, but is using human shields, suicide bombers and snipers in a fight to the death.