Islamic State losing grip on Iraqi city of Mosul

ISIS has occupied the city since 2014 - but forces say it is likely to fall back to the Iraqi government within days

Islamic State losing grip on Iraqi city of Mosul

Image: Shona Murray

Fighting in the Old City of Mosul continued throughout the night and has reintensified this morning as the Islamic State group engage in a futile attempt to ward off the Iraqi army.

As the last days of ISIS' grip on Mosul's ancient citadel draw to a close, the group has tried to counter the Iraqi-led coalition offensive with mortar attacks and several suicide bombers.

Two days ago, a number of women detonated suicide belts amongst a crowd of fleeing civilians towards the frontline from ISIS territory to Iraqi army territory.

Scores of ISIS members have also been arrested tying to flee among civilians.

Locals who remain in territory held by the Islamist group are in grave danger amid further airstrikes and the threat of death from Daesh (the Arab name for ISIS) if they try to leave.

Civilians who do emerge are suffering from malnutrition and severe anxiety

Some houses have hung white flags outside their homes safe in the knowledge that Daesh has been banished, but whose family members are afraid to leave.

Image: Shona Murray

Several areas in Mosul remain deserted after Iraqi forces liberated them when the offensive began in earnest last October.

Al-Hamdaniye - once a Christian stronghold but whose Christian inhabitants were forced to leave or be killed - is now completely uninhabited.

Despite Iraqi army clearance in parts of east and west Mosul, several sleeper cells have been detected and it's likely there are ISIS members still hiding in some houses.

Image: Shona Murray