Reports claim Iran is responsible for sealing an escape route left by US-led coalition in Western Mosul, forcing ISIS to now fight to the death.
- Original campaign called for Iraqi forces to close Mosul in a horseshoe formation, leaving an opening for ISIS forces to flee.
- Tehran lobbied for Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization fighters to be sent to the western front to seal off Mosul.
- Several thousand militants have little choice but to now fight to the death in Mosul.
- Kurdish official: “If you corner your enemy and don’t leave an escape, he will fight till the end.”
- Battle planner: “In the west, the initial idea was to have a corridor … but the Hashid (Popular Mobilization) insisted on closing this loophole to prevent them going to Syria.”
- Humanitarian worker on ‘kill box’: “Iran didn’t agree and insisted that no safe corridor be allowed to Syria. They wanted the whole region west of Mosul to be a kill box.”
(BAGHDAD/ERBIL, IRAQ) In the early days of the assault on Islamic State in Mosul, Iran successfully pressed Iraq to change its battle plan and seal off the city, an intervention which has since shaped the tortuous course of the conflict, sources briefed on the plan say.
The sources say Iran lobbied for Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization fighters to be sent to the western front to seal off the link between Mosul and Raqqa, the two main cities of Islamic State’s self-declared cross-border caliphate.
That link is now broken. For the first time in Iraq’s two-and-half-year, Western-backed drive to defeat Islamic State, several thousand militants have little choice but to fight to the death, and 1 million remaining Mosul citizens have no escape from the front lines creeping ever closer to the city center.
Full article: Claim: Iran sealed ISIS-Mosul escape route (TruNews)