IS group fighters shave beards' as pressure builds on Mosul

Al Sumaria News stated, "ISIS terrorist gangs executed nine of its members for fleeing the battle against the security forces in Mosul, by throwing them in trenches containing a burning oil, after tying their hands and legs". Our forces do accompany. the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga.

The first force to get near to Mosul, advancing to within two kilometers (just over a mile) of Iraq's second largest city, was the elite US-trained Counter Terrorism Service (CTS). It will take longer than the current operation to retake Mosul, Townsend admitted. The Kurds took full control of the province in 2014 after Islamic State overran much of the north of the country and several divisions of the Iraqi army disintegrated. He said a small number of fighters and civilians were still inside the town.

"We also continue to receive information that reinforces the belief that ISIL are deliberately using civilians as human shields - forcing them to move to sites where ISIL fighters are based, or preventing them from leaving other places for strategic reasons".

An elite unit of the Iraqi army paused its week-long advance on Mosul as it approached the city's eastern edge on Tuesday, waiting for other US -backed forces to close in on Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq.

Senior Iraqi and USA military officials have reported that ISIL leaders are already trying to leave Mosul to reach the Syrian side of their "caliphate".

American soldiers are seen at the USA army base in Qayyara.

Paris- France succeeded in convincing the United States with taking a final and outspoken stance on fighting terror group ISIS after the two-week-old offensive in the Iraqi city of Mosul is over.

An offensive against Raqa is likely to be far more complicated than the assault on Mosul however, because unlike in Iraq the coalition does not have a strong ally on the ground in Syria. U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan was killed while supporting the Mosul operation on October 20, three days after offensive began.

But with its claim to run a "caliphate" losing credibility with every new loss of territory, IS has mounted a fierce and well-organised resistance in the fight for Mosul. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the attack on Raqqa, Islamic State's main stronghold in Syria, would start while the battle of Mosul is unfolding.

Representatives from around 20 countries including the United States, Turkey, Iran, Gulf states and European Union member states attended the Paris meeting co-chaired by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

In Moscow Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov equated U.S. support for Iraqi efforts to recapture Mosul with Russian backing of a Syrian government offensive to seize rebel-held east Aleppo.

He said ISIS fighters are still moving in and out of Mosul because the city is not completely surrounded by Iraqi or Kurdish forces. Mortars have been fired into the base in the two months that USA troops have been there.

A senior US military official, speaking to reporters travelling with Carter, suggested the Raqqa kick-off would likely follow some additional successes in Mosul.

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