Iraqi troops are consolidating gains in their advance on the northern city of Mosul, regrouping as they clear neighborhoods and houses once occupied by the Islamic State group.

In Mosul proper, where troops have established a foothold in a sliver of territory in the city's east, officials say Thursday that the special forces have taken control of the Zahra neighborhood, once named after former dictator Saddam Hussein.

The regular army's ninth division is stationed in east Mosul's Intisar neighborhood, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to brief reporters.

Brig. Firas Bashar, spokesman for Nineveh operations command, says troops south of Mosul have been stopped at the town of Hamam al-Alil while other forces push forward on the city.