Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obaidi meeting troops preparing for Mosul offensive. Photo: al-Obaidi/twitter
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—More than 100 Islamic State (ISIS) militants fled Mosul on Sunday, said an official, ahead of Iraqi and Kurdish military plans to liberate the city.
“There are 102 ISIS militants who escaped from Mosul yesterday, including seven commanders,” Saeed Mamuzini told Rudaw English, believing that some of them went into Syria.
Mamuzini was head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in Mosul before the city fell to ISIS in 2014.
He added that 36 ISIS militants were executed today on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s orders.
A coalition of Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces are preparing for a major offensive against ISIS in Mosul in the coming months.
Iraqi defense officials anticipate the offensive to happen in the first half of this year.
Mamuzini said that Mosul is under a state of alert. “There is no money, the financial situation is at zero. ISIS morale is at an all time low. People are scared, ISIS militants too.”
Two Iraqi army brigades were recently relocated to Makhmour, southeast of Mosul where they have formed a joint operations command with the Peshmerga.
Around 750 Christians also completed a training course with the Peshmerga last week to participate in the forthcoming offensive.