Popular Mobilization Force members on the frontline with the Islamic State in al-Fatha, northeast of Baiji, Iraq on October 18, 2015. © 2015 Reuters
VOX: The battle to take back ISIS's last stronghold in Iraq could be long and bloody
After the Iraqi security forces (ISF) recaptured Fallujah from ISIS this June, they set their sights on Mosul, the terrorist organization’s biggest prize and Iraq’s second-largest city. Hundreds of the militants are fleeing from Iraq to Syria in anticipation of an imminent offensive to retake the city. Others are burning oil wells and planting improvised explosive devices to stymie enemy advances.
The Iraqi government hopes to expel ISIS from Mosul by the end of the year. It has momentum on its side. ISIS-held territory in Iraq has shrunk from more than 40 percent of the country to less than 10 percent. The ISF are receiving air support from an international coalition and fire support from dozens of Kurdish and Shia militias, which will likely join the offensive.
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WNU Editor: All signs indicate that this is not going to be an easy battle .... Retaking IS-Held Mosul Likely to Be Tricky, Costly for Iraq (AP).
More News On The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul
Iraqi forces eye Shirqat, one of the last steps before Mosul -- Reuters
Iraqi PM talks Mosul offensive with top US officer -- AA
Isil leaders begin to flee Mosul as US-backed Iraqi army closes in on jihadists' biggest stronghold -- The Telegraph
Red Cross: One million could flee Mosul battle in Iraq -- Al Jazeera
Red Cross warns 1M more Iraqis could flee homes amid Islamic State fight -- UPI
Iraq: Ban Abusive Militias from Mosul Operation -- Human Rights Watch
Sectarian rhetoric rises in preparation for Mosul -- RUDAW
The liberation of Mosul is a deja vu all over again -- Al Jazeera