ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Islamic State (IS) militants will die in the besieged city of Mosul because Iraqi forces have cut off all the exit routes from the city, said a senior US official who is combating IS on Sunday.
The US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter IS Brett McGurk told reporters in Baghdad the extremists were trapped inside Mosul since Iraqi troops cut off the last exit from the city.
“Just last night, the [ninth] Iraqi army division...cut off the last road out of Mosul,” he revealed.
“Any of the fighters who are left in Mosul, they’re going to die there, because they’re trapped,” McGurk added.
On Feb. 19, the Iraqi forces launched a military operation to retake western Mosul from IS. The offensive is ongoing.
“We are very committed to not just defeating them in Mosul, but making sure these guys cannot escape,” McGurk continued.
IS occupied Mosul in June 2014 and shortly expanded to other parts of Iraq.
Since then, the insurgent group has lost large swaths of territory it once controlled.
Iraqi forces have liberated the eastern and northern parts of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq and the self-proclaimed capital of IS.
Additionally, the troops have liberated over a third of western Mosul, according to the military commanders.
The liberation of western Mosul, especially the part known as the “Old City of Mosul,” has been challenging for security forces as it is a highly populated urban area with narrow neighborhoods.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany