security forces take Mosul’s main government
complex, museum building
forces soldiers search a house during a
battle with Islamic State militants in
Mosul, Iraq March 3, 2017 REUTERS.
Elite Iraqi security forces dislodged
Islamic State militants from the main
government buildings in Mosul on Tuesday,
their last major city stronghold in Iraq, an
Iraqi spokesman said.
Mosul’s main museum, which was damaged
and looted by the militants, was also taken,
Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Amir al-Mohammadawi,
a spokesman for the elite interior ministry
Rapid Response units told Reuters.
A special Rapid Response team stormed the
Nineveh governorate building and the
surrounding government complex in an
overnight raid that lasted about an hour, he
“They killed tens from Daesh,” he said,
referring to the Islamic State group by one
of its Arabic acronyms.
Seizing the government complex would help
Iraqi forces attack the militants in the
nearby old city center and mark a symbolic
step towards restoring state authority over
Mosul, even though the buildings are
destroyed and not being used by Islamic
The battle for Mosul, which started on
Oct. 17, will now enter a more complicated
phase in the densely populated old city
where, the Iraqi military believes, several
thousand militants are among the remaining
It was from the grand al-Nuri Mosque in
the old city that Islamic State leader Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi declared in 2014 a
“caliphate” spanning parts of Iraq and
The old city lies on the western bank of
the Tigris river that cuts Mosul in two
halves. About 750,000 people were estimated
by aid organizations to live in west Mosul
when the offensive started on this side of
the city on Feb. 19.
The Iraqi forces took the eastern half of
the city in January, after 100 days of
A U.S.-led coalition is providing key air
and ground support to the offensive in
Iraq’s second-largest city.