MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — An Iraqi officer says counterattacks by Islamic State militants on the western edge of Mosul have stalled Iraqi forces' push in the Old City — the last IS stronghold in the city.
The officer says Iraqi forces and coalition air assets were pulled away from the Old City on Tuesday to clear the Yarmouk and Tanak neighborhoods where IS staged counterattacks earlier this week. The neighborhoods were declared liberated of IS in May.
He says attacks began Sunday by scores of IS fighters dressed in Iraqi Shiite paramilitary uniforms. A dozen coalition airstrikes on Mosul's western-most edge killed about 40 militants on Monday.
The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
IS-held Mosul has shrunk to just about 2 square kilometers in the ancient Old City district.