A member of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services (CTS) flashes the sign for victory from a heavily armed vehicle as they advance towards Mosul. Image Credit: AFP

Baghdad: A Baghdad military spokesman says Iraqi forces have surrounded Daesh militants in Mosul’s Old City, leaving the extremists in control of only about 10.5 per cent of the territory in the western half of the city.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool told reporters that all of Mosul will soon be liberated from Daesh.

He says the battles in that last militant hold-out in Mosul have slowed because the area is densely populated areas, with narrow alleys. Rasool says “it is only a matter of time and a very short time” until the battle is won.

The military push to retake Mosul from the Daesh group started in October. The city’s eastern half was declared liberated in January.

Mosul is divided by the Tigris River into its eastern and western part.