>> Kurdish forces are closing in on Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq. Setting out in the early hours of Sunday to do battle near Mosul. As the day wore on, the Peshmerga are claiming to have freed 11 villages from IS control. Their commander saying he aims to catch the militants in a pincer.
> Our forces launched attacks from two directions. So far we have liberated 100 square kilometers.>> Civilians fleeing towards the Kurdish forces stripped to the waist to show they're not carrying explosives. IS fighting back with mortars and suicide bombers, but steadily losing ground. Now Iraqi president, Haider al-Abadi, has vowed to retake Mosul itself before year end.
The US envoy to the anti-IS coalition saying preparations for an assault on the city are in their final phase.
t it won't be easy. Mosul is by far the largest city still held by IS in Iraq. Before the war it had a population of 2 million. Defeat there would all but mark the end of IS in the country.
No one expects them accept that without a fight.