Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said that after an ISIS commander communicated to the Iraqi Security Forces that he wanted to surrender a group of fighters, the Iraqi commander "sensed something was amiss". But he says the fight there is now the priority. Once IS fighters were busy fighting, civilians would run directly through the front lines to reach Iraqi forces.
The Iraqi government must do something "significantly different" to stop Isil from reforming, a senior U.S. commander has said, even as the jihadist group managed to recapture most of a village close to the newly liberated city of Mosul.
But officials warned of other challenges in Iraq.
At least one air strike hit the Old City, the scene of fierce battles with IS, sending a plume of smoke into the air early on Tuesday.
Lieutenant General Sami al-Aridhi, a senior commander in the elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said the jihadist-held territory had been reduced to an area of the Old City of about 200 by 100 metres (yards). As clashes neared, they trapped the civilians inside houses without access to food or medical care, it said.
A 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militias launched the offensive to recapture the northern city from the militants in October, with key air and ground support from a USA -led coalition.
Iraq must stop IS 2.0, says USA commander
The militants also fought and hid among the population.
Abadi delayed officially declaring the liberation of Mosul on Sunday because a pocket of resistance remained in the Old City, on the western bank of the River Tigris. "A group of 40 Indian youths, mostly Punjabis, who worked in a construction company in Mosul were reportedly kidnapped by the IS on June 11, 2014".
Twenty-eight aid groups working in Iraq issued a statement calling for worldwide support for rebuilding efforts and urged authorities not to press civilians to return.
The world-renowned artist posted a video on his Facebook page in which he praised the courage of Iraq's security forces and paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the gruelling eight-month battle to liberate the historic city.
Iran, a key ally of Abadi's Shiite-led government, gave its congratulations too and offered help in rebuilding.
The report went on to detail what it said was a pattern of attacks in which the US-led coalition and ground Iraqi forces "failed to take necessary precautions to verify that a target was actually a military objective".