BELGRADE – Comprehensive military campaign to liberate the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul continued on Monday with Iraqi Special Forces battling to clear ISIL from Eastern Mosul and declaring that they have so far killed nearly 1,000 militants.

Iraqi Special Forces battling to clear ISIL from Eastern Mosul killed nearly 1,000 militants but fighting has slowed as troops face a mobile enemy hidden among thousands of civilians in the city, a top commander said; FNA reported.

Six weeks into a major offensive, Iraqi forces have captured nearly half of Eastern Mosul, moving from district to district against ISIL snipers, suicide attackers and car bombs, Iraqi News reported.

Elite Iraqi troops, known as the “Golden Division”, are the only brigades to have entered Mosul from the east, with Iraqi army, federal police and Kurdish Peshmerga units surrounding the city to the North and South, while popular forces are trying to complete the encirclement from the West.

The US-trained Counter Terrorism Service unit breached ISIL’s defenses at the end of October, but has been slowed by the militants’ mobile tactics and concern over civilian casualties preventing the use of tanks and heavy armor.