London – There is an obvious contradiction between U.S. and Russian plans regarding Mosul’s battle, especially in dealing with ISIS militants, who are estimated to be few thousands and some have been trained to fight in fierce battles, according to a prominent Iraqi official.
The source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the U.S. strategy, which was given to Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, regarding Mosul’s liberation is based on allowing ISIS militants to flee towards the Iraqi-Syrian borders.
However, according to the source, Russia strongly rejects this strategy, and this is what Russian President Vladimir Putin told al-Abadi in their latest phone call.
Putin informed the Iraqi PM that Moscow refuses driving out these militants to Syria, instead it calls for killing them in Iraq. He explained that if these militants were allowed to enter Syria, Russia’s mission will be more complicated.
The source continued: “It seems that Russia’s plan, which will be implemented by the Popular Mobilization Forces, will succeed at the end. This plan is agreed upon by Putin and Iran, proving al-Abadi, who always says that these forces follow his orders, wrong.”
Meanwhile, the Russian army warned on Wednesday from allowing ISIS terrorist militants to flee from Iraq to Syria in Mosul’s liberation battle.
“Our main focus is on the militants’ possible attempts to escape from Mosul or by agreement freely leaving the city in the direction of Syria,” Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.
“One must not chase the terrorists from one country to another but destroy them on the spot,” Gerasimov added.
He also said that Moscow hopes the U.S.-led coalition understands the impact of ISIS militants’ escape from Mosul.
“We monitor the situation round the clock in the Mosul area and the course of the operation to block ISIS militants in the city. Space reconnaissance devices have been redirected there and more than 10 of our aerial reconnaissance equipment are also working in close proximity to the area, including unmanned vehicles.”
General Valery Gerasimov stressed that despite Western media hype, the campaign to retake Mosul from the terrorist group has not yet formally begun.