Late Sunday, Iraqi forces dropped nearly 500,000 leaflets over the city, warning that they had “started attacking from all directions.” REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
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Daesh (ISIS) fighters defended their remaining stronghold in the Old City of Mosul, moving stealthily along narrow back alleys and slipping from house to house through holes in walls as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces slowly advanced. The intensity of fighting was lower than Sunday, when Iraqi forces announced the start of the assault on the Old City, a Reuters visuals team reported from near the front lines. Gen. Maan al-Saadi, a top CTS commander, told AFP that heavy fighting had resumed at dawn Monday.The various Iraqi forces pushing into the Old City made modest gains, as Daesh fighters rained mortar fire on their positions and offered stiff resistance. The Iraqi army estimates the number of Daesh fighters at no more than 300, down from nearly 6,000 in the city when the battle of Mosul started on Oct. 17 .Commanders have said the fighting is expected to be very difficult and could last weeks.
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