United Nations chief at Iraq camp urges more aid for people of Mosul

Jaafari stressed on Iraq's call on the worldwide organization to "adopt a draft to criminalize the terrorist ideology and fight extremism in order to protect the societies from the risk of recruiting their sons in terrorist groups", the statement said.

Guterres described his visit to Iraq as "historic" and confirmed that it comes to show solidarity with the Iraqi people in its war against terrorism, noting "the liberation of Mosul and the defeat of IS will contribute to support the unity of Iraq", according to the statement.

The slain propaganda chief was a leader in efforts to recruit foreign fighters and encourage "terror attacks" in Western countries, the spokesperson said.

The fierce battles in the western side of Mosul caused heavy casualties among civilians who were either caught by cross-fire or by airstrikes and shelling.

Guterres met with Iraq's president and parliament speaker as well as the prime minister.

He later travelled to Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

An estimated 215,000 people are now displaced as a result of the ongoing military operations to retake the city from the Islamic State group, according to the United Nations.

Having pushed the jihadists from the city's eastern section, they are now moving into the old city in western Mosul, where tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped.

"The situation is very good and the Iraqi air force is doing well".

The close-quarters fighting is focused on the Old City surrounding the mosque, where ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a caliphate almost three years ago across territory controlled by the group in both Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi special forces and police battled Daesh militants in close-quarters fighting to edge closer to the al-Nuri mosque in western Mosul on Wednesday, tightening their control around the landmark site in the battle to recapture Iraq's second city.

"We have to be able to positively identify the valid military target (and) positively identify the combatant", as well assess the potential collateral damage of a strike, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The militants have suffered a string of defeats over the past two years in the lead-up to the Mosul operation, but have continued to regularly launch attacks in and around Baghdad.

Western Mosul is densely populated and has proven to be a much more hard fight for Iraqi and coalition forces, which have resorted to greater use of artillery and air strikes to clear and hold territory.