Islamic State militants have pledged to "fight to the death" in Iraq's second city of Mosul.
Local commanders insist their forces are just metres away from reclaiming the city as the terrorist group’s defensive line continues to collapse.
The city has been under ISIS control for the past three years, with the battle to retake it ongoing since October last year.
Nearly one million Mosul residents have been displaced by the fighting – with many living in camps outside the city with little shelter from the summer sun.
The liberation of the city has come at a heavy cost for the local population, with the terrorists known to have used civilians as human shields.
The group has also shot and killed Iraqi residents trying to flee the city according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, airstrikes undertaken by the US-led coalition attempting to root out the extremists have caused huge collateral damage in the city – reportedly resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
Late on Saturday, Iraqi state media said government forces are fighting for the “last metres” of territory in the city adding it is a “matter of hours.”
However the ISIS Amaq news agency claimed “fierce fighting” was ongoing around the Maydan district adding that its fighters are collectively pledging to fight to the death in the district.