It is in the heart of Mosul’s old city that many believe ISIL will make their final stand in Iraq.
With fighting concentrated in the maze of narrow alleyways that zig-zag through the last district still under the Islamist fighters’ control within the city, Iraqi forces are gathering pace.
US-trained urban warfare units are making ground against the Islamist group, and hope to divide the ISIL fighters into four isolated areas.
They hope to have liberated the city by the end of the Muslim Eid holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan over the next few days.
For now, their first concern is to open routes for fleeing civilians to escape.
Some 7,000 civilians have been liberated so far this week, but the job isn’t done yet.
Eight month’s after it began, the siege of Mosul rages on
While many are enjoying their freedom after three years under the militants’ thumb, tens of thousands remain trapped amid the fighting, without food, water, or much needed medical treatment.