ISIL leaders killed in Iraq's W. Mosul: Army source

In February, Iraqi ground forces - backed by a USA -led air coalition - began fresh operations aimed at driving Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group's last stronghold in northern Iraq.

The Islamic State, which made territorial gains in Mosul and parts of northern Iraq, has more recently been pushed out of much of the region under pressure from an worldwide coalition that includes the United States.

The intelligence agencies are not yet sure how the two organizations might begin the collaboration, especially since ISIS conquered numerous territories in the northern region of Iraq, where Baghdadi declared established his khalifate.

Almost half a million civilians have fled Mosul since the start of the campaign to free the city from Islamic State, new figures show, as the battle becomes bogged down in street-to-street fighting.

Army Captain Khader al-Asadi told Anadolu Agency that a Daesh suicide bomber had attacked anti-terrorism units stationed in western Mosul's Al-Thawra district.

ISIS were driven out of the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in January.

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If Al-Qaeda from Iraq wants to proclaim the Islamic State of the khalifate immediately, ISIS wants to eliminate the occidental influence from the Middle East.

According to estimates, as many as 500,000 people still remain in ISIL-controlled areas in western Mosul, including about 400,000 in the densely populated old city.

According to the top USA commander in Iraq, the battle for Western Mosul is the most brutal urban combat since World War II.

Aircraft, helicopter and artillery opened fire, while gunfire could also be heard at several positions of Iraq's federal police near the Old City.

'Minutes ago, they launched an attack and we responded by shelling them with mortar rounds, killing two of them and their bodies were left in front of our defensive lines, ' he said earlier today. It's where their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his only known public appearance in July 2014 to announce the creation of an Islamic Caliphate.

"It is unclear how exactly both groups may work together", Allawi said.

  • Megan Austin