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Iraq drops leaflets over Mosul warning residents of looming battle

16 October 2016 22:48



The Iraqi Air Force has started to drop thousands of leaflets over Mosul, notifying residents of the looming offensive to retake the city from Daesh.

“Time to celebrate a clean Iraq without Daesh or any dark belief,” and “It’s victory time,” read the newspaper-style leaflets dropped on Mosul early on Sunday morning.

“We are preparing to take action to free Mosul and regain security and stability in the region,” reads a headline on the leaflet.

The residents are urged to avoid certain locations in the city — including Daesh positions — or stay at home. A phone number is also provided to report Daesh activity.

“The newspapers have important information, to update them with the latest facts and victories,” said a statement released by Iraq’s Joint Military Operations.

The file photo taken from local media shows the leaflets dropped by the Iraqi air force over Mosul on October 15, 2016 to warn the residents ahead of the liberation operation against Daesh.

Iraqi forces are gearing up for the ultimate push to liberate Mosul, which fell to Takfiri Daesh militants in June 2014 shortly after they unleashed a campaign of terror and destruction in the northern and western parts of the Arab state.

The Popular Mobilization Units, also known by its Arabic name Hashed al-Sha’abi, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters will back the Iraqi army in the final push to liberate Mosul, the last major Daesh stronghold in Iraq.

Iraqi troops are reportedly in position and waiting for an official green-light to start their offensive.

Reports coming out of Mosul also say Daesh is sending its families and wounded members to the areas under its control in neighboring Syria as it prepares to face Iraqi armed forces.

The terror group intends to set the oil facilities in the area in an attempt to hamper the army’s aerial operations.

‘Waiting for the zero hour’

Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Assadi the spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Units, mostly made up of Shia paramilitary groups, said 9,000 of the organization’s Sunni fighters are joining the liberation operations.

He added that some 5,000 of its fighter from other religious minorities, including Christians, Izadis and Turkmen, will also take part in the upcoming offensive.

“Hased al-Shabi forces are waiting for the zero hour to start the offensive against Daesh positions” in the zones planned to be targeted by Iraqi armed forces, Assadi said.

Iraqi government forces drive in the al-Bakr neighbourhood north of Hit in Anbar Province after they cleared the area of Daesh terrorists on October 10, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Kurdish Peshmerga forces are also preparing for the Mosul offensive.

On Saturday, President of Iraq’s semi-autonomous region Massoud Barzani said in a Twitter post, “The time has come to begin the liberation of Mosul.”

As various units of Iraqi armed forces are waiting for Baghdad’s green light to launch the offensive, the US artillery units unilaterally opened fire on what is said to be Daesh positions in Nineveh Province on Saturday, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency quoted Ali Hussein, a senior Kurdish military official, as saying.

Media reports also said the US soldiers deployed to the Bashiqa camp, located some 20 kilometers from Mosul, also carried out an attack against purported Daesh position in the area.

Iraqi and US officials have not made any comments on the report so far.

Iraqi Prime Minister has said no foreign boots would be involved in the ground operations to liberate Mosul, and the US-led coalition would only support the purely-Iraqi battle.

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