IS members burn civilian vehicles in Mosulís al-Shifa, evacuate to Old City

Islamic State members are burning civilians-owned vehicles in western Mosul to blur vision for assaulting fighter jets as the group moves to its last refuge at the Old City area. quoted sources saying the militants at al-Shifa district, one of the last four districts remaining under their control in western Mosul, had begun to set fire to vehicles to create a smokescreen against fighter jets pounding the groupís locations near the Old City. The sources added that the group began evacuating civilians at gunpoint towards the Old City.

Earlier on Monday, Iraqi Federal Police forces pounded Islamic State locations in the Old City preparing for the invasion of the groupís last bastion in that region.

The serviceís commander, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said in a press statement that police used heavy artillery and Grad rockets, backed by drones, to strike dozens of targets including command centers, supply stores, artillery and transportation vehicles belonging to the group.

Deputy Federal Police commander, Maj. Gen Jaafar al-Battat, was quoted Sunday saying that only four districts were left under Islamic State militantsí control : the Old City: Zanjili, al-Shifaa and al-Sihha, adding that the Old City had recently seen an increase in militants numbers as many sought refuge there after Iraqi forces had retaken areas to the northwest, most notably the 17 Tamuz and Iktisadiyeen districts.

Iraqi troops recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and the Iraqi security command said earlier this week in controls 89.5 percent of the western side of the city, three months after a second phase of the campaign launched to recapture that region.

The densely populated and structured Old City is the place where IS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi proclaimed the establishment of the groupís rule in Iraq and Syria.