Survivors Describe Aftermath Of US Airstrike On Mosul

At the height of its power, the militant group controlled about 40 percent of Iraq, joint operations command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told a news conference.

"Though the fighting is going to be very hard, this enemy is completely surrounded", said Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the US -led coalition.

Seven alleys in the neighborhood were recaptured, al-Alusi said, adding that his forces killed 15 armed militants and arrested another three; they also destroyed a booby-trapped vehicle through which a suicide bomber tried to target Iraqi troops.

At least 13 civilians were killed by a US -led coalition airstrike in western Mosul on Wednesday, according to a local Air Force pilot.

After more than a week in the city, Satolli emerged with an intimate glimpse into the daily reality of those who remain in and around Mosul.

Six months into an Iraqi-led, US -backed military offensive to rout ISIS from Mosul, an endgame approaches. They've intensified their efforts to bring civilians into harm's way.

The enemy's use of civilians as human shields is "a despicable tactic, and unfortunate, and heartbreaking", he said. "And a lot of the reason for that is the coalition airstrikes that have supported our partners as they've taken that territory back". The Iraqi counterterrorism service and federal police are pressing more deeply into the dense, urban terrain along the Euphrates River and the old part of the city, Dorrian said, while elements of the Iraqi army continue clearing territory to the north and west of the city center.

Colonel Dorrian said the fight in Western Mosul had been tough but said IS fighters had no escape. "With each passing day the number of ISIS fighters in Mosul goes down, the amount of resources they have available to continue their mayhem goes down and, ultimately, they are not going anywhere and they are going to be defeated". But the push against IS in Western Mosul is bogged down with Iraqi security forces fighting in a warren of small streets in the old part of the city. "Do not lose sight of the fact that even though the fighting is going to be very hard, this enemy is completely surrounded", Dorrian said. They have really two choices: "they can surrender to the Iraqi security forces, or they're going to be killed".