The Iraqi offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS is entering a critical phase, according to officials from Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.
The officials, who have accompanied Marine Corps General Joe Dunford on his trip to the region, claim that Iraqi forces are approaching the city from the east, northeast and south.
These forces are being led by Iraqi Counterterrorism Service troops acting as elite light infantry.
The Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia militia are also working with Iraqi forces under the direction of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.
An official stated that 'the Kurds and Iraqi government said this is the closest they have ever worked together'.
The officials estimate that there are between 3,000 and 5,000 ISIS fighters in and around Mosul.
Iraqi forces are seeing more weapons outside the city, while inside Mosul the terrorist organisation is using improvised explosive devices against the Iraqi liberators.
So far, Iraqi forces have destroyed 73 tunnels.
Intelligence officials sait that close air and artillery support are providing a boost for Iraqi forces.
Image: Marine Corps General Joe Dunford talks with military leaders in Irbil, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Dod / D Myles Cullen.