Mon Nov 28, 2016 03:34PM
Military vehicles of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) are seen during a battle with Daesh terrorists in Mosul, Iraq, November 28, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Military vehicles of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) are seen during a battle with Daesh terrorists in Mosul, Iraq, November 28, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Nearly 1,000 Daesh terrorists have been killed by the Iraqi special forces six weeks into a major operation to liberate the northern city of Mosul, a top commander says.

Major General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, one of the commanders of the special forces, said on Monday that more than 992 terrorists had been killed in the fighting in eastern Mosul.

Assadi said the fighting against the terrorists was in progress but at a slower pace due to a change of tactics.

"We have made changes to plans, partly due to the changing nature of the enemy ... Daesh is not based in one location, but moving from here to there.”

Major General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, one of the commanders of the Iraqi special forces, gestures as he talks during an interview in the town of Bartella east of Mosul, Iraq, November 27, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

The commander stressed that the tactics were also changed to protect civilians.

"Progress was faster at the start. The reason is we were operating before in areas without residents, we have arrived in populated districts. So how do we protect civilians? We have sealed off district after district," he said.

Iraqi army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation on October 17 to retake Mosul from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

Iraqis walk as they flee their neighborhoods to safer locations on November 28, 2016 in an eastern district of the city of Mosul. (Photo by AFP)

Mosul fell into the hands of Daesh more than two years ago, when the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in northern and western Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the last stronghold of the Daesh terrorists in the Arab country, will be fully recaptured by year-end.