But commanders have said the battle could take months. air strikes have taken out four of the five river bridges used by the militants.
Dozens of districts must be taken in the east before attacking forces reach the Tigris River which splits Mosul into east and west. To the south, Iraqi army brigades are now advancing slowly on the remaining Islamic State-held villages before reaching the city limits.
Shi’ite militias are trying to complete the encirclement from the west. S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service unit breached Islamic State’s defenses at the end of October, but has been slowed by the militants’ mobile tactics and concern over civilian casualties preventing the use of tanks and heavy armor.
Major General Abdul Ghani al-Asadi, one of the commanders of the special forces, said troops had adapted their tactics, surrounding one district at a time to cut off the militants’ supplies and protect civilians.
The child, thought to be called Uday, says he was sent by 'Amo', which means uncle, with instructions to target 'the army'. In the next few moments, the soldier slowly snips off bandages holding up the device, which appears to include a mobile phone and batteries.
When the child flinches, the soldier says: 'Don't be afraid'.
The Balch Springs Police Department initially claimed the vehicle was reversing towards officers in an 'aggressive manner' until body camera footage revealed the youngsters were actually driving away when Oliver began shooting with his rifle.