IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, training and other assistance
IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, training and other assistance © Joseph Eid - AFP/File
IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, training and other assistance
AFP
Last updated: August 1, 2016

Iraqi minister says IS leaders and families flee Mosul

Banner Icon Iraq's Defence Minister Khalid al-Obeidi has said that Islamic State group leaders and their families have sold their belongings and fled Mosul as Iraqi forces close in on the northern city.

Iraqi forces are conducting operations to set the stage for an assault on Mosul, the country's second city that has been held by IS since June 2014, but the final push to retake it is likely still months away.

"A number of the families... and leaders of (IS) in Mosul, they and their families sold their belongings and withdrew towards Syria," whose border west of the city, Obeidi told Iraqiya state television.

Some also sought to infiltrate towards Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, located north and east of Mosul, Obeidi said during an interview which was broadcast on Saturday night.

Mosul is the last city held by IS in Iraq, but retaking it poses a major challenge, and the operation could unleash a humanitarian crisis unless plans are made for people who would likely flee the fighting.

The Red Cross has said it believes that up to a million Iraqis could be displaced in the coming months by fighting against IS, including the operation to recapture Mosul.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes, training and other assistance.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272