It has also been a campaign marked by brutality and atrocities committed by Mosul's would-be saviours, including units from the Iraqi army, special police units and sectarian Shia jihadist groups fighting under the banner of the state-sanctioned but Iran-controlled Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).
Moscow is deeply anxious over mass deaths of civilians in Iraq in ongoing bombing and shelling by the US-led coalition, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the ministry's website on Friday.
The leaflet drop, announced in an Iraqi military statement, signalled that the decisive offensive to dislodge the militants from their remaining enclave in the northern Iraqi city was imminent.
As many as 200,000 Iraqis may try in the coming days to flee areas of Mosul under the control of the Daesh terrorist group after the government asked civilians to seek safety across the frontline, the United Nations aid chief said Friday.
US bomb that dropped on a building in the Iraqi city of Mosul set off explosive materials that had already been placed inside by Islamic State fighters, causing the structure to collapse and killing more than 100 civilians, a USA military investigation concluded Thursday.
Mosul was a former IS bastion but the jihadists now only control about 10 percent of the city.
The coalition had been monitoring the area since the operation for western Mosul began weeks before.
Since the push into the western half of the city began in February, some 580,000 people have been forced to flee.
Poor weather conditions during the days leading up to March 17 made coalition aerial surveillance of the neighborhood impossible for the two days before the bomb was dropped, Col. Joseph Scrocca, a coalition spokesman said, adding that coalition surveillance was also unavailable on the day of the strike due to fog.
That's unlikely, at least in the near term, as the battle for Mosul's Old City is still far from over, and there is no timetable for even starting reconstruction.
The slow military approach may be helping Iraqi and coalition forces kill and capture more IS fighters but it has put trapped civilians at greater risk, according to residents who recently fled neighborhoods still in IS hands. In Mosul, 980 ISIS fighters have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded.
The most recent senior militant to be killed was Abu-Khattab al Rawi, an IS military official who was killed along with three other terrorists during an operation near al Qaim in Iraq on 18 May.
In Mosul, however, IS fighters have found themselves encircled, preventing them from fleeing but allowing them to pin down Iraqi ground forces.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the northern city since the offensive to reclaim it was launched in October a year ago.
A resident in Farouq, an Old City neighborhood, sounded desperate in a telephone interview.
Local officials and eyewitnesses have said as many as 240 people may have died in the strike.