nfire echoes over the recently recaptured eastern Mosul district. Iraqi forces pushing ahead with efforts to retake the city from Islamic State, despite fierce resistance. The joint operations commander telling Reuters they expect to reach the river bisecting the city in the coming days.>> Concluding the first phase in the eastern front of Mosul, we have cleared many areas and neighborhoods of the city.
Roughly 65 to 70% of the eastern side has been liberated and more than 70% of these neighborhoods have been cleared.>> He says the cooperation of residents was helping them advance against the militants. The offensive, now in its 12th week, has gained momentum since Iraqi forces, backed by a US led coalition, renewed their push for the city a week ago.
The head of the coalition says the various Iraqi forces are also now working as more of a team Iraqi commanders decided two weeks ago that all the different pro government forces need to cooperate much more closely.>> For about two months, they ran for the most part a huddle-less offense.
And what we saw is that there wasn't enough synchronization between each of the different attacking axes and forces. The Iraqis also noted this and so that was the big change after the commanders conference right before Christmas, was a decision to huddle a lot more frequently.>> The military predicting they'll see a full liberation of the eastern side in the coming days.
The western half of the city remains under the control of Islamic State. They're fighting back with snipers, suicide car bombs, and embedding themselves among civilians caught in the crossfire.