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U.S. Envoy Warns Any IS Militants Left In Mosul Will 'Die'

Fire and smoke billow following explosion as Iraqi forces clash with Islamic State fighters in Mosul.

The U.S. envoy to the coalition against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Mosul says any militants left in the Iraqi city will die.

Brett McGurk made the remarks on March 12 as Iraqi forces recaptured a third of western Mosul and cut off the last road out of the city.

Iraqi forces recaptured the eastern half of Mosul in January and have tightened their grip on the west in recent weeks.

"Any of the fighters who are left in Mosul, they're going to die there," said McGurk. "We are very committed to not just defeating them in Mosul, but making sure these guys cannot escape."

IS overran Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in 2014.

Iraqi government forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shi'a militiamen backed by US-led air strikes launched a military offensive to retake the city in October 2016.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP