Battle for Mosul
Displaced Iraqis flee from their homes at Shahrezad village east of Mosul, IraqREUTERS/Ari Jalal

A senior ISIS commander has been killed in the Battle for Mosul, the terror group's last major stronghold in Iraq, Iraqi military intelligence sources have told CNN.

Mahmoud Shukri al Nuaimi, a senior figure in the militant setup who also is known as Sheikh Faris, was killed on Tuesday in an Iraqi-led coalition airstrike in western Mosul, the sources said.

ISIS confirmed his death in a video montage, referring to him as "the martyr of the battle."

Meanwhile Iraqi troops continued to inch ahead in the embattled city as they fight a house-to-house battle with ISIS fighters. Progress has slowed as the narrow streets do not allow the Iraqi forces to use their tanks and other heavy weaponry.

On Friday the UN revealed fresh evidence that the extremists have used chemical weapons.

UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said four people died from inhaling fumes after IS shelled and set fires to the al-Mishrag Sulfur Gas Factory in Mosul on Oct.ober 23.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Shamdasani said reports indicated IS has stockpiled "large quantities" of ammonia and sulfur that have been placed in the same areas as civilians.

"We can only speculate how they intend to use this," she said, "We are simply raising the alarm that this is happening, that this is being stockpiled."

Iraqi troops now control almost 90% of the Intisar neighbourhood and are making laborious inroads into Quadisiya.

According to the Associated Press, Kurdish peshmerga forces are holding a line north of the city, while Iraqi army and militarized police units approach from the south, and government-sanctioned Shiite militias guard western approaches.

Now, Iraqi forces say they are preparing for an assault on the southern edge of the city itself, which is likely to yield stiff IS resistance comparable to what Iraqi forces faced in Mosul's east earlier this month.

UN officials say about 48,000 people have now fled Mosul since the government campaign began on October 17.

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