The battle for Mosul began last October, and the outcome will likely determine whether Iraq’s various sects can work together to keep the country from fracturing. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Gen. Yahya Rasool told a news conference.That area has been whittled down to about 6.8 percent of Iraqi territory after extensive military operations, which are still going on in the city of Mosul, he said.Its fighters have pulled civilians into the conflict by placing snipers in residential areas, using civilians as human shields and executing those who try to escape, coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian said at the news conference."Once that task is accomplished, the coalition will be here to support our Iraqi partners as they eliminate ISIS from every corner of Iraq," Dorrian said. He added that the fight in western Mosul had been tough but said Daesh fighters had no escape.
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