Iraqi forces battling the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in west Mosul reached the city's southernmost bridge Monday (February 27th), AFP reported.
The move, a little more than a week into a major push on Mosul's west bank, could allow Iraqi forces to extend a floating bridge between the city's two halves and pile pressure on the extremists.
"The Rapid Response force and the federal police have liberated Jawsaq neighbourhood and now control the western end of the fourth bridge," Joint Operations Commandm spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasul said.
He was referring to the southernmost of five bridges -- all of which are damaged and unusable -- across the Tigris River that divides the northern Iraqi city.
"That means the bridge is under control on both sides," said Rasul.
Also on Monday, Iraqi forces liberated one of west Mosul's most important residential neighbourhood following violent battles with ISIL, Ninawa Operations Command said.
"Joint Iraqi forces have liberated al-Tayran neighbourhood in west Mosul," the command said in a statement.
"Our forces have inflicted heavy losses on ISIL in terms of lives and assets," the statement said.
Col. Amer al-Saadi, commander of the Iraqi army’s 10th Armoured Division’s 2nd Regiment, told Diyaruna that Iraqi forces are now controlling about 30% of west Mosul.
"Clear progress is being made in other neighbourhoods, including Wadi Hajar, one of the terrorist group"s most important strongholds," he added.
"ISIL is retreating and progress is being made on several front to prevent terrorists from sneaking out of the area," he said.