Iraqi Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi says that the military operation aimed at liberating west Mosul from Daesh is "in its last stage."
Abadi also reiterated his vow that the remaining terrorists who surrender will be given a fair trial, but those who continue to fight against Iraqi forces will “definitely be killed."
The Iraqi PM, who was speaking during a Tuesday press conference held in Baghdad, stressed that the number of people displaced by fighting in the city would not increase.
“We are so careful, even with the families of Daesh, we are taking care of them but not the fighters. We will not target the families but the terrorists of Daesh, we will fight them and if they are arrested they will face a fair trial and if they will fight they will be killed,” he said.
He added that number of the displaced persons is still lower than which was predicted.
According to the UN, at least 50,000 people have managed to flee the city over the last four weeks. The International Organization for Migration puts the figure at over 80,000.
Daesh has threatened to kill people caught trying to get escape the city.
Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters launched the offensive to retake Mosul, Daesh’s last major city stronghold in the country, last October.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
- Iraqi forces recapture Mosul's train station, reach Great Mosque
- Iraqi forces recapture two more neighborhoods in western Mosul
- One-third of western Mosul retaken from Daesh: Iraqi Cmdr.
Iraq, Turkey discuss battling Daesh
Meanwhile, Abadi and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (seen below) have discussed security, economy, bilateral relations, and regional issues during a phone conversation.
According to Yildirim’s office, Abadi said that his country would not permit any threat to reach Turkey from Iraqi territory.
Yıldırım also conveyed his country’s stance on fighting terror groups, particularly the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a US-backed Kurdish group based in Syria.
He also stressed that Turkey will continue in its operations against Daesh and its cooperation with the international coalition battling terrorism.