July 31, 2016

THERE IS NO CALIPHATE:

U.S.-backed forces now control 40 percent of IS-held city of Manbij: monitor (Reuters, 7/31/16)

U.S.-backed forces now control 40 percent of the Islamic State-held Syrian city of Manbij after advances in the last day that secured them key areas inside the city near the Turkish border, a monitor said on Sunday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), with the support of air strikes, had seized much of the eastern part of the besieged city after slower advances in recent weeks mainly in the western sector.

Isil leaders begin to flee Mosul as US-backed Iraqi army closes in on jihadists' biggest stronghold (Josie Ensor, 31 JULY 2016, The Telegraph)

Khaled al-Obeidi, the country's defence minister, said he had intelligence that senior figures in the Islamist group have already begun to leave ahead of an offensive planned for September. 

"Many Daesh families and leaders in Mosul have sold their property and sneaked out towards Syria, and a segment even tried to sneak out towards (Iraq's Kurdish) region", he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

With as many as two million residents, Mosul is the group's de facto capital in Iraq and the biggest city under its control anywhere across its self-proclaimed caliphate.

Posted by at July 31, 2016 7:33 AM

  

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