Coalition and Iraqi forces killed scores of Islamic State fighters in the battle for Mosul on Christmas Day during multiple, coordinated attacks on terrorist positions around the city.
Iraq’s Joint Military Command said Monday that during three separate attacks on Sunday, the coalition troops were able to kill 97 Islamic State militants as the battle for Iraq’s second-largest city continues on.
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In one incident, ISIS fighters tried to advance near a federal police position, south of Mosul, before Iraqi forces detonated two vehicle-borne IEDs and killed 21 “terrorists”, the military said.
In a second incident, the military said it killed 51 ISIS fighters and injured a number of others after the militant group — using vehicle-borne IEDs and suicide bombers — tried to launch attacks on Iraqi military positions in the neighborhoods of Intisar, al Salam and al Shaimaa’ in southeastern Mosul.
Separately, aircraft belonging to the coalition forces carried out airstrikes on an ISIS gathering in al Wahda neighborhood in eastern Mosul, killing 25 terrorists, the military said.
The fight to retake Mosul began in late October. At first, the advancement of Iraqi and coalition forces was swift, but the fighting has slowed as the battle has turned into block-by-block urban warfare, where both sides are inflicting heavy casualties on one another.
Still, Islamic State forces are massively outnumbered. According to military estimates, 90,000 Iraqi, Kurdish Peshmerga, tribal militia and coalition forces have banded together in the battle to retake Mosul.
The Islamic State has controlled the large city since 2014. As many as 100,000 Mosul citizens have been displaced since the fighting began two months ago and humanitarian groups estimate that more than one million could be displaced by the time fighting ends.