11:09, 14 July 2020
watch on Dushanbe time, GMT+5
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Iraqi forces kill ISIL commander in Mosul

Iraqi forces said they had killed the commander of Islamic State of Iraq

and the Levant (ISIL) in Mosul's Old City as the battle for the group's last stronghold in the country focused on a strategic bridge crossing the River Tigris. Federal police said they killed Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, military commander of the Old City, during operations to clear Bab al-Tob district. With many ISIL leaders having already retreated from Mosul, Ansary's death comes as a blow to the group as it defends shrinking control of Iraq's second-largest city. ISIL snipers, however, were slowing the advance of special forces units on the Iron Bridge linking western and eastern Mosul, officers said. Capturing the Iron Bridge would mean Iraqi forces will hold three of the five bridges in Mosul that span the Tigris, all of which have been damaged by ISIL (also known as ISIS) and US-led air strikes. The southernmost two have already been retaken.