ISIS Abducts More Than 200 Near Mosul, Retreats With Thousands

A woman fleeing fighting between ISIS and Iraqi army in Intisar disrict of eastern Mosul, Nov. 8, 2016 / REUTERS

Islamic State fighters abducted 295 former Iraqi Security Forces members near the militant stronghold of Mosul and also forced 1,500 families to retreat with them from Hammam al Alil town, the United Nations human rights organization said on Tuesday.

ISIS Leader Says ‘No Retreat’ From Mosul Assault

Tribal fighters walk as fire and smoke rises from oil wells, set ablaze by ISIS in Qayyara, Iraq / REUTERS

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi told his followers on Thursday there could be no retreat in a “total war” against the forces arrayed against them, as advancing soldiers battled the militants inside their northern Iraqi stronghold.

Ash Carter: Raqqa Invasion Will Begin Before Mosul Campaign Ends

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian / AP

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter revealed Tuesday that Western allies fighting the Islamic State have already begun preparing to invade the terrorist group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria before the ongoing military campaign to recapture the ISIS-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul is complete.