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Battle for Mosul: 300 Daesh Militants Holed Up in City

Battle for Mosul: 300 Daesh Militants Holed Up in City
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Some 300 Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for "ISIS" / "ISIL"] militants remain in the small patch of territory still controlled by the group in Mosul's Old City, a senior Iraqi commander said Wednesday.

Battle for Mosul: 300 Daesh Militants Holed Up in City

Lt. Gen. Sami al-Aridi of Iraq's Special Forces told The Associated Press that the militants' hold on Mosul has shrunk to a 500 square meter [600 sq. yard] area. A large number of civilians are believed to be trapped in the Daesh-run enclave, with around 1,500 fleeing with every 100-meter [yard] advance by Iraqi forces.

Iraqi forces moved to besiege the Old City before launching their attack in order to prevent Daesh fighters from fleeing to neighboring Syria, but al-Aridi said hundreds of militants still managed to escape from the Old City alone.

"They just shave their beards and walk out," al-Aridi said. "Just yesterday we captured two among a group of women and children."

Late Tuesday, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the armed forces on a "big victory" in Mosul, despite ongoing clashes. The prime minister declared an end to the extremist group's self-styled caliphate in June.

Daesh captured Mosul in a matter of days when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014. Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition launched a major operation to retake the city in October.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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