Iraqi government forces are advancing deeper into the eastern neighborhoods of Mosul in their battle to retake the strategic northern city from the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
Brigadier General Haider Fadhil of Iraq's special forces said the troopers entered Qadisiya neighborhood of the Daesh-held city, located some 400 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, on Friday but were moving slowly in a bid to prevent civilian casualties and avoid being targeted by booby traps and surprise car bombs.
The advance came hours after military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said elite counter-terrorism forces had launched an assault into the Arbajiyah neighborhood of eastern Mosul. Heavy fighting is continuing, with gunfire echoing in the streets.
There are reports that Iraqi army forces are heading toward the nearby Karkukli district.
An unnamed army officer also said army soldiers are now in control of 90 percent of east Mosul's Intisar neighborhood, but the narrowness of streets has made the movement of battle tanks difficult and slowed the progress.
Meanwhile, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announced on Friday that Daesh terrorists have executed dozens of civilians in Mosul over the past few days.
The UN agency said in a statement that Daesh extremists fatally shot 40 civilians in Mosul on November 8 after accusing them of “treason and collaboration” with the Iraqi security personnel.
A 27-year-old man was also publicly shot to death in the Bab al-Jadid neighborhood of central Mosul the same day on charges of using a mobile phone.
The Takfiris then shot to death 20 more civilians at Ghabat military base in northern Mosul the following day on charges of passing information to Iraqi government forces. The victims’ bodies were then hung at various intersections of the Daesh stronghold.
On Thursday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the number of internally displaced people in the wake of Mosul military operations has gone beyond 45,000.
Dujarric stressed that additional emergency shelter options, foodstuff, potable water and health care will be needed within the next week to accommodate more refugees.
After months of preparation, Iraqi army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation on October 17 to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorists.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, will be fully recaptured by year-end.