Middle East

Iraqi troops capture largest neighborhood in western Mosul

  • Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

    Mosul residents flee their homes as Iraqi forces battle the Islamic State group in a street to street fight in west Mosul, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)  (The Associated Press)

A senior military commander says Iraqi troops have driven out Islamic State militants from the largest neighborhood in the western half of the city of Mosul.

Special forces Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the sprawling al-Tanek neighborhood "is fully liberated and under full control" of the security forces. Al-Saadi didn't provide more details.

Taking sprawling al-Tanek on the city's westernmost edge is a major development.

To the east of al-Tanek, Iraqi forces have been facing tough resistance from IS in Mosul's Old City along the Tigris River. Its narrow alleys and densely populated areas have made it hard for troops to move forward.

Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, fell to IS in the summer of 2014, along with large swaths of northern and western Iraq.