Iraqi forces now control all parts of Mosul, Iraq, while tough fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continues in Raqqa, Syria, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters here today.
Since the height of ISIS’s power in 2014, the coalition has retaken more than 70 percent of formerly ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq and 50 percent in Syria, he said, and the coalition fighting ISIS continues to grow.
“There are now 73 partners in that coalition, which is 69 countries plus the European Union, NATO, the Arab League and Interpol,” the International Police Organization, he said, noting that coalition partners in Iraq and Syria have retaken more than 44,400 square miles of territory, and freed 5 million people from ISIS control.
In an update of operations beginning with Iraq, Davis said that Iraqi forces continue to conduct detailed clearance operations of rebel caves and tunnel systems in Mosul’s old city, looking for any remaining ISIS fighters and seeking to identify explosive devices that could threaten friendly forces or civilians.
The old city is the focus of cleanup operations, he said, and the Iraqi army, the Emergency Response Division forces, the Counter Terrorism Service and federal police are holding sectors in Mosul until the holding force takes over security.
“There’s been only one coalition strike in Mosul in the last week and a single-digit number of direct-fire engagements in Mosul in the last week. These are indicators of the improved security and stability situation there,” Davis said.
Before the single strike over the past week, the last time the coalition made no strikes on Mosul was Sept. 15, he added.
The coalition has conducted multiple strikes in Tal Afar this week against supply caches, vehicle-borne bomb factories and command-and-control locations, Davis said.