>> Iraq's military says it's taken control of the last major road out of Mosul from Islamic State, effectively trapping the militants into an increasingly small area of the city, their primary stronghold in the country. The motorway links to Islamic State territories some 40 miles west. It captures comes over 4 months into a deadly seige.
Rapid gains by Iraqi forces in Mosul's Eastern outskirts have now been replaced by street to street fighting in the densely populated western half, terrified civilians fleeing the area. The UN says over 175,000 have been displaced so far, many escaping under fire from the militants.>>
> Islamic State's defeat in Mosul would crush its self-declared Caliphate in Iraq. The United States, which is providing air support and advisors on the ground for Baghdad, believes Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa, could fall as well within six months.