- Iraqi military kill 97 ISIS militants
- Mosul is ISIS' last major stronghold in Iraq
The militants were killed in three separate incidents, the Iraqi military said in a statement.
In one incident, ISIS fighters tried to advance near a federal police position, south of Mosul, before Iraqi forces detonated two vehicle-borne IEDs and killed 21 "terrorists", the military said.
In a second incident, the military said it killed 51 ISIS fighters and injured a number of others after the militant group -- using vehicle-borne IEDs and suicide bombers -- tried to launch attacks on Iraqi military positions in the neighborhoods of Intisar, al Salam and al Shaimaa' in southeastern Mosul.
Separately, aircraft belonging to the coalition forces carried out airstrikes on an ISIS gathering in al Wahda neighborhood in eastern Mosul, killing 25 terrorists, the military said.
Mosul, Iraq's second-most populous city, is ISIS' last major stronghold in Iraq and the terror group is well entrenched there.
Massively outnumbered by the advancing coalition -- a 90,000-strong force of Iraqi government troops, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and irregular militia soldiers -- ISIS relies on asymmetric warfare tactics
to inflict damage on its opponents, and terrorize long-suffering civilian populations.
What began as a rapid push into the city in early November has turned into a block-by-block war, with ISIS inflicting high casualty rates on advancing Iraqis.
The military campaign has
forced nearly 100,000 people to flee Mosul since the Iraqi operation against ISIS began. Aid organizations say they fear the fighting could result in the displacement of more than a million people. A number of groups are helping families displaced
by the war.
The government has encouraged civilians in Mosul -- where a million or more people may still live -- to stay in their homes if possible.