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ISIL Terrorists Shave Beards to Escape Advancing Iraqi Fighters

26 October 2016 16:33

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Militants of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) terrorist group were shaving their beards and changing hideouts in Mosul, residents said, as Iraqi forces moved ever closer to the city Wednesday and civilians fled in growing numbers.

Residents and military officials said many ISIL gunmen had relocated from eastern Mosul to their traditional bastions on the western bank of the Tigris river, closer to escape routes to Syria.

The sounds of fighting on the northern and eastern fronts of the Mosul offensive could now be heard inside the city, residents said, and US-led coalition aircraft were flying lower over the city than usual.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi fighters have been advancing on Mosul from the south, east and north after an offensive was launched on October 17 to retake the last major Iraqi city under ISIL control.

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