Major General Sami al-Aridi of the Iraqi special forces said on November 19 that IS militants were fighting in eastern Mosul with snipers, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar rounds.
To the west of Mosul, government-sanctioned Shi’ite militias took full control of the Tal Afar military airfield on November 18.
Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for one of the militias -- the Hezbollah Brigades -- said the clashes almost destroyed the airport but that it will be an important launching pad for the troops in their advance.
The IS extremist group captured Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in the summer of 2014.
According to the United Nations, more than 56,000 civilians have been forced from their homes since the operation began, out of nearly 1.5 million civilians living in and around Mosul.