Dancing in the streets of Mosul. These Iraqi soldiers celebrating an expected victory over Islamic State on Sunday.
t on Monday, the task of finishing the job. Iraq's military says the militant group is cornered in a diminishing rectangle of streets measuring 300 meters by 500 meters. And this federal police spokesman says troops are advancing in quote, relatively record time.
> We killed a large number of foreign Daesh fighters and freed families. We also defused booby trapped shops, houses, and car bombs and we removed explosives planted in strategic places.>> But Islamic State isn't giving up without a fight as Reuters Senior Correspondent Steven Calen reports from a checkpoint in East Mosul.
>> The more that they advance, the more people that are coming out. And it's hard to know how many people are left inside the city. But we're hearing it's maybe still in the thousands of civilians trapped inside their homes in the old city where the fiercest fighting is still going on.
Military officials say IS is down to a couple of hundred fighters from several thousand. Full control of the city is expected by the end of this week. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi expected to visit Mosul to formally declare victory, and a week of nationwide celebrations is planned.
But those who escaped the shrinking urban battlefield say the situation inside is dire.>> They of course, a lot of them are stuck inside their homes, told by Islamic State not to leave out, threatened to be killed if they leave. And also, they're right there on the front lines so to leave would be to risk death.
>> Mosul is by far the largest city ever to be controlled by Islamic State, and victory here would effectively end the Iraqi half of the caliphate. Though IS still controls territory to the west and south of Mosul where tens of thousands of civilians live.