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ISIS in 'Fight to the Death' as Group's Territory Shrinks to Less than a Mile in Iraq

07-04-2017
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The Islamic State is losing their grip on its so-called caliphate territory. Only about 300 ISIS militants remain in a small territory around Mosul.

"We will continue to defeat Daesh (alternative acronym for ISIS) until every last one has either died or has been brought to justice," says United States Army Colonel Ryan Dillon.

U.S., Iraqi and coalition forces are on the verge of recapturing Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

"There remains just one pocket left in the Old City and there is less than one square kilometer that remains to be taken before ISIS has been completely defeated in Mosul," said Dillon.

A sentiment echoed by Gen. Abdel Ghani al-Asadi, head of Iraq's special forces, who said the Islamic militants are in a "fight to the death" after his soldiers retook Mosul's main hospital the day before.

He says its clear ISIS is getting desperate.

On Monday, as his men closed in on the last remaining areas controled by the terrorists, two female suicide bombers, hiding among a group of fleeing civilians, attacked Iraqi troops.

"They appeared from the basement of a building and they blew themselves up," said Ali Abdullah Hussein, a spokesman with the Iraqi Army.

At least 15 people died in the attack.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Syria, U.S.-backed Syrian forces breached a key entrance to Raqqa's old city in a weeks-old battle to drive Islamic State militants out of their self-declared headquarters.

"Conducting targeted strikes on two small portions of the wall allowed Coalition and partner forces to breach the Old City at a location of their choosing," the Combined Joint Task Force announced Tuesday.

Coalition troops have spent months surrounding the strategic ISIS stronghold preparing for a major offensive to retake it from the terror group.

"ISIS has put up a fierce and stiff resistance, particularly as we have reached the Old City portion of Raqqa," said Dillon.

The battle for Raqqa is just getting started.

"As a matter of fact, we are still at the beginning of the campaign to defeat ISIS in Raqqa but we will continue to progress, just as we have everywhere else, to defeat ISIS," Dillon said. "They will lose."

In 2014, Islamic militants captured Raqqa and declared it the capital of the ISIS caliphate. Some 2,500 ISIS fighters are reportedly left defending the city.

 

 

 

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