Report: ISIS Chiefs Flee Mosul to Syria at Prospect of Army Major Offensive for City Recapture

Report: ISIS Chiefs Flee Mosul to Syria at Prospect of Army Major Offensive for City Recapture

The leaders of ISIS terror group have begun to flee the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as the Iraqi military says it is bracing for major anti-terror assault to take the city back from the terrorists.

AhlulBayt News Agency - The leaders of ISIS terror group have begun to flee the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as the Iraqi military says it is bracing for major anti-terror assault to take the city back from the terrorists.

The reports suggest that fleeing from the Iraqi stronghold of ISIS is a complete process of moving from the city with the terror leaders are taking their families and relatives from the city, giving the notion that the terrorist group has begun to feel the danger and lose its once strong morale for confronting the Iraqi military forces which are receiving help from foreign parties.

It is not just the imagination of upcoming defeat that pushes the leaders to escape the battle with the Iraqi army but also the other problems, mostly financial pitfalls, have begun to push them in dire straits.

The recent reports have noted that ISIS terror group has lost a considerable portion of its revenues as it began to lose to both Iraqi and Syrian forces areas which included oil sources as a major income of the group. On the other side, the pressures started to mount on Turkey as the major trading place of the stolen oil.

"Many Daesh (Arabic acronym for ISIS) families and leaders in Mosul have sold their property and sneaked out towards Syria, and a segment even tried to sneak out towards (Iraq’s Kurdish) region", the Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi told the state television during an interview.

“I have information of many conflicts, specifically over financial issues, among ultra-hardline militants of the group", continued the Iraqi defense minister.

ISIS has lost half of its territories in Iraq following successful series of military operations by the joint Iraqi forces, the very latest of them was a major offensive against the terrorists who held the city of Fallujah in Al Anbar province for nearly two years.

The number of ISIS' fighters who are now existing in Mosul, the largest city held by the terrorist group across its so-called caliphate, is suggested to be in the thousands, but rarely more than 10,000.

The Iraqi officials said that they were preparing forces to launch a key offensive to take back Mosul from ISIS. They are mobilizing forces from both army and a massive military organization comprised of voluntary popular forces known as Public Mobilization Forces (PMF), which so far proved highly practical in pushing back terrorism from the country against a backdrop of a heavy wave of US-led opposition against their engagement in the fighting.

Liberation of Fallujah by the Iraqi forces has paved the way for the Iraqi forces to more easily plan for the next move which is liberation of Mosul.

Mosul’s civilians on the line

But there are fears by the Iraqi government over the civilians who could be caught in the crossfire in Mosul. The Iraqi officials say that the militant group could use the residents as human shields when the fighting kicks off, a tactic already used by it also in Syria when it saw the encirclement was being intensified against it.

Some reports also said that the terrorists have lined the routes out of Mosul with mines and snipers.

The Defense Minister al-Obeidi said that the major challenge ahead of his forces during the upcoming liberating campaign was protecting the civilians, who he said numbered nearly 2 million.

The defense minister also voiced concerns over the increasing displacement that would take place when the operation is launched.

“We expect when operations begin in the city, there will be large displacement. The smallest number we are expecting is about half a million people," the Reuters reported, quoting the Iraqi defense minister as saying.

The Reuters also reported that the International Committee for the Red Cross said that up to 1 million people could be pushed out of their homes in the embattled city, as United Nations estimated the number could touch even higher levels.

Foreign supports for the imminent battle

Due to the sensitivity of liberation of Mosul, the last major safe haven of ISIS in Iraq, a variety of parties are expected to have Baghdad’s back during its decisive campaign.

Some reports said that US has pledged support for the Iraqi forces. The backing is majorly comes in the form of air cover and intelligence provision.

Washington has earlier sent 650 Special Forces to Iraq, and says it is eyeing sending even further backup troops.

However, some sources maintained that Washington spoke out against Iraq over allowing involvement of the PMF which are majorly backed by Iran, a staunch ally of Iraq and also Syria, and a key side of anti-terror battle in the region which argued that the US by its objection to engagement of the popular voluntary forces adopted double standards in dealing with terrorism in the region in general and in Iraq in particular.

The neighboring Iran also said that it would offer all it was required to the Iraqi forces to make the operation go more fluently.

The Iraqi defense minister during an interview with Press TV has praised the Islamic Republic's role in fighting ISIS, adding that Tehran would give “continuous support" to Baghdad to liberate the city of Mosul.

Following Nice terrorist attack in France, the responsibility of which was taken by ISIS, Paris, too, vowed to contribute to the operation by deploying its fighter jets for supportive air raids at the positions of the terrorist group in Mosul.

Mosul fell to ISIS in 2014 after the terrorist group launched an offensive which resulted in seizing control of the city within hours.




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