Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Handling the Mercenaries: Some 800 Militants Head to Syrian Border After Leaving Mosul, Iraq - Russian MoD

Sputnik | Mar 28, 2017

At least 800 militants have left the Iraqi city of Mosul and headed toward the Syrian border over the past week, chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian military has repeatedly said that Daesh terrorists leave Mosul for Syria amid an Iraqi offensive supported by the US-led coalition.

"According to our data, at least 800 militants have left Mosul over the past week toward the Syrian border," Rudskoy said at a briefing.

Militants continue infiltrating Deir Ez-Zor in Syria from Iraq despite the US-led coalition's assurances of fully surrounding Mosul, he said.

"Despite coalition assurances on the complete encirclement of Mosul, the infiltration of militants from the city into the Syrian region of Deir Ez-Zor continues."

He said the Deir Ez-Zor "garrison has been fighting for several years while being surrounded."

Last December, the Russian Defense Ministry said that intelligence data suggested that up to 5,000 Daesh terrorists have been moved to Syria’s Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor from Iraq’s Mosul.

The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key stronghold of Daesh in Iraq, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of the city’s eastern part in January. Fighting continues in the Mosul's western part.

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