Victory over the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists at the hands of the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and their allies in Mosul is imminent, reports Voice of America (VOA), citing Iraqi military officials.
“Despite the tough fighting… we are moving ahead in persistence to finish the battle for the western side within a month,” Iraqi Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) head, told Reuters about Mosul last week.
“They are in full collapse now,” added Iraqi Brig. Qais Yaaqoub, according to the Economist. “When an army breaks it happens very quickly. Within a week or two, this will all be over.”
Iraqi forces recently shut down the last road leading out of the city, prompting U.S. envoy Brett McGurk to declare that the Islamic State now has nowhere to flee:
Any of the fighters left in Mosul, they’re going to die there. So it is a matter of time right now before ISIS is totally defeated, but I do not want to understate the very difficult fight that lies ahead and nobody can put a timeframe on how long will this take, but the Iraqi security forces will complete this mission.
The effort to liberate Mosul, ISIS’s last major stronghold in Iraq, began in mid-October 2016.
Soon thereafter, U.S.-backed Iraqi troops and their allies recaptured the eastern half of the city, but the terrorists are putting up a tougher fight to defend western Mosul.
Despite the massive resistance in the western half of the city, VOA reports:
U.S. and Iraqi officials are citing gains in the battle to retake western Mosul from Islamic State, saying pro-government troops have pushed farther into militant-held territory and cut off potential escape routes.
Major General Maan al-Saadi says Iraqi security forces now control more than one-third of western Mosul after about a month of fighting there.
In mid-2014, when ISIS seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group took Mosul, once considered the terrorist group’s de facto capital in Iraq, much like what Raqqa is to the jihadist group in Syria.astern Mosul fell to the anti-ISIS U.S.-backed offensive of nearly 100,000 Iraqi government troops, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and Iran-backed Shiite militias, among other fighters.
Eastern Mosul recently fell to the anti-ISIS U.S.-backed offensive of nearly 100,000 Iraqi government forces, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and Iran-backed Shiite militias, among other fighters.
Some media outlets have estimated that up to 5,000 ISIS jihadists still remain in the western part of the city.