Just two days after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared “total victory” in Mosul, ISIS’s de facto capital in Iraq, fighting in the region continued between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants. The two sides exchanged gunfire throughout the day on Wednesday, killing a policeman and wounding at least two others, a security official reported. A day earlier, a U.S.-backed coalition that supports Iraqi forces said it had conducted three airstrikes in the region, targeting ISIS militants and their remaining weaponry. On the same day, ISIS attacked Iraqi forces from a village south of Mosul.
An Iraqi military official told Reuters that the scattered violence was the result of “clearing operations” in the area. “Right now, there are a handful of holdout ISIS terrorists that the Iraqi security forces are still trying to root out of the Old City,” Joe Scrocca, a coalition spokesperson, told the BBC. This “handful” could represent as many as a couple hundred militants, according to the senior U.S. general in Iraq, Stephen Townsend, who told reporters there would be continued casualties as Iraqi forces attempt to secure the area. Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that hundreds of civilians remain trapped in the city.