13:29 GMT +305 December 2016
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    Smoke billows as Iraqi forces hold a position on October 17, 2016 in the area of al-Shurah, some 45 kms south of Mosul, while advancing towards the city to retake it from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists

    At Least 100 Daesh Commanders Escape From Mosul Toward Syria Amid Operation

    © AFP 2016/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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    At least 100 commanders of Daesh terrorist group have left the Iraqi city of Mosul and headed for Syria amid the Iraqi forces' offensive, media reported.

    ALEPPO (Sputnik) — According to Al Mayadeen channel, the group of Daesh commanders moved to the Syrian border, as the Iraqi air forces continue to monitor the area to the west of Mosul.

    The start of the military operation to retake Mosul from Daesh, which seized it in June 2014, was announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi on Monday.

    According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation. They are backed by the US-led international coalition's airstrikes.

    Saad Hadithi, Abadi's spokesman, said on Wednesday that the operation was progressing faster than expected.

    Related:

    Shiite Militias Get No Coalition Combat Aid in Mosul Due to Terrorists in Ranks
    UN: Up to Million Civilians Could Flee Mosul, Military Must Guarantee Safe Exit
    'Daesh Ranks Panicking, Commanders Fleeing' From Mosul to Syria Amid Offensive
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    Daesh, Syria, Mosul, Iraq
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