The Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve says that terrorists of Islamic State around Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq should either surrender or be killed.
Spokesman of the coalition, Col. John Dorrian, said on Wednesday that the coalition was closing in on ISIS,
Dorrian said this in a statement by the U.S. Department of Defense.
“Iraqi forces control both main routes west of Mosul, limiting ISIS fighters’ freedom of movement. ISIS has been encircled for ‘quite some time’.
“The Iraqi counterterrorism service and federal police are pressing more deeply into the dense, urban terrain along the Euphrates River and the old part of the city.
“While elements of the Iraqi army continue clearing territory to the north and west of the city centre; there is only a ‘shrinking cordon’ in Mosul where ISIS can operate.
“This enemy in Mosul is not going anywhere; they’re not going to be able to leave to the west; they are cut off.
“They have really two choices: they can surrender to the Iraqi security forces, or they’re going to be killed,” he said.
Dorrian said U.S., coalition and partner forces were edging towards victory in the campaign to defeat ISIS.
“In Iraq, Iraqi forces are making incremental progress on the west side of Mosul, in large part because of the need to protect against civilian casualties.
“The enemy has intensified their exploitation of civilians by moving them in large numbers into harm’s way,” he said.
According to him, since the effort to take Mosul back from ISIS began on Feb.19, Iraqi forces supported by coalition airstrikes had cleared nearly 200 square miles of territory.
He noted that there had already been some positive results for the people of Iraq as the fight against ISIS continued.
“One of the things it’s very important to understand is that millions of people have been able to return to their homes because of the rollback of ISIS territorial gains.
“And a lot of the reason for that is the coalition airstrikes that have supported our partners as they’ve taken that territory back,” he said.
According to him, while progress continues, it has still a slow and tough fight because of the efforts of the coalition to avoid civilian casualties.
He described ISIS use of civilians as human shields as “a despicable tactic, and unfortunate, and heartbreaking” adding “but it is something that we’re seeing”.
“In reality, it’s very, very slow and very, very hard, and it’s gut-busting, difficult fighting between our forces and theirs. But our forces and the Iraqi security forces continue to make progress.
“It’s very slow, it’s very tough. One of the reasons for that is because we want to do it in a manner that protects civilian life.
“Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s been very clear on that, and it’s been an enduring principle of the campaign throughout” he said. (NAN)