Baghdad : US warplanes Tuesday dropped thousands of leaflets on the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, urging residents to keep clear of places occupied by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group that overran the city in June.
The leaflets were signed by the Iraqi ministry of defence and warned that IS-occupied areas may be targeted in bombing raids. Mosul residents were likewise advised to evacuate homes located near potential targets.
An Iraqi official noted that a similar mission Monday marked the first time since jihadis seized control of the city June 10 that US planes have been seen flying over Iraq’s second-largest city.
Iraq has seen a deteriorating security situation since June 10 when bloody clashes broke out between security forces and hundreds of Sunni militants who took control of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces withdrew from their posts in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Monday said that at least 1,420 Iraqis have been killed and 1,370 injured in terrorist attacks and violence during August.