ISIL's al-Baghdadi: Prophet Muhammad Told Me to Leave Mosul
19:42 16.03.2015(updated 20:15 16.03.2015)
While the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militants continue to withdraw from the Sunni stronghold of Tirkit amid a losing battle against Iraqi government forces, the terrorist group's leader might be preparing to retreat from the province of Mosul.
IS militants say their withdrawal comes upon personal orders from their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to the Kurdistan Democratic Party's website, al-Baghdadi announced that he had a dream in which he met the Prophet Muhammad, who ordered him to depart from Mosul province without fighting.
IS members have started spreading the message among militants and people living in IS strongholds. There's no specific departure date or a reason behind the "Prophet's order."
Islamic State militants continue to hold parts of the city of Tikrit after a two-week battle against a pro-government force. Meanwhile, Iraqi officials said they were pausing their offensive to call for reinforcements and to preserve property and civilian lives.
The Iraqi government and its allies have been saying they are in control of the battlefield, as they had surrounding the small number of IS militants remaining in Tikrit. They expect to gain full control of the city within days.
Around 30,000 Iraqi government troops, Shiite militias and Sunni tribesmen had launched an operation to seize control of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on March 3, as a step towards liberating Mosul, IS militants' main hub in Iraq.
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