“The military operations to win back Mosul may start after the Holy Month of Moharram,” a battlefield source said.
He underlined that the Baghdad government should give the green light to start the liberation operation.
The source noted that the deployment of Hashd al-Shaabi in the surrounding areas of Mosul city indicates that the Iraqi volunteer forces will be definitely present in the Mosul liberation operation despite the negative propaganda of the western and regional media outlets against these forces.
On Wednesday, a local official in Mosul said that the ISIL militants were fleeing the city since a long-awaited large-scale operation aimed at freeing the second largest city in the country “is expected to be launched in the coming days”.
“As part of the operation the Iraqi Armed Forces and Peshmerga are shelling ISIL targets in the areas close to Mosul,” said the press secretary for the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul, Said Mamuzini.
“Additional security measures have been taken on the border. According to our information, the militants are digging trenches around the city, as well as setting up traps using explosives and mines.”
The spokesperson added that ISIL fighters have placed booby-traps in empty houses and left trucks rigged with explosives on the outskirts of the city that the brutal group captured in a blitz offensive on June 10, 2014.
“ISIL is in a state of panic ahead of the operation in Mosul,” he detailed.
“According to our sources, many fighters have left the city for Raqqa,” the group’s de facto capital.
“ISIL commanders and their families have moved to Raqqa en masse.” According to Mamuzini, the brutal group has relocated its key forces to Syria.
This offers hope that the city could be liberated sooner than expected. “ISIL’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reportedly pursuing a new strategy with regard to Mosul.
He told his fighters that if they are capable of fighting for Mosul, they should fight and if not, then they should leave booby traps and mines, destroy the city and flee,” he said.