IRAQI forces are hoping to herd ISIS terrorists escaping Mosul into a ‘killing zone’ for warplanes.
As Iraqi and Kurd forces storm the terror group’s last citadel in Iraq from the south, east and north, the western side of the city will be left open.
“We’ll try to give them an escape to run to Syria,” Major Salam Jassim, a commander with Iraq’s elite special forces, told the Washington Post.
Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul, a spokesman for the Iraqi military, added: “If we do that, then this area will become a killing zone as we target them with our aircraft.”
It has also emerged that more a million desperate civilians are expected to flee the city of Mosul over the coming weeks as Iraqi forces close in on the ISIS stronghold. Aid agencies have warned the battle to retake the city of 1.5million could unleash the “worst man-made humanitarian crisis”seen in modern times.
Families could face unimaginable horrors as ISIS dig in against 40,000 Iraqi troops and Kurd fighters storming the city, a desperate situation made worse by the coming brutal winter.
“In a worst-case scenario, we’re literally looking at the single largest humanitarian operation in the world in 2016,” said Lise Grande from the UN.
The Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces began moving in the direction of Mosul at dawn on Monday under air cover from the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition.
A total of 20 villages were taken from the militants east, south and southeast of Mosul, according to statements from the army Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.