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Jihadists 'shave beards' as pressure builds on Mosul
with the Islamic State group were shaving their beards and changing
hideouts in Mosul, residents said, as a major Iraqi offensive moved ever
closer to the city. With pressure building on the 10th day of the Mosul
assault, Western defence chiefs were already looking ahead to the next
target -- IS's other major stronghold of Raqa in Syria. Recent advances
on the eastern front have brought elite Iraqi forces to within five
kilometres (three miles) of Mosul, and residents reached by AFP said the
jihadists seemed to be preparing for an assault on the city itself.
U.S. Commander in Iraq: ISIL's Use of Drones 'Relatively Constant and Creative'
- "ISIL makes extensive use of drones," Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend,
the commander of military operations in Iraq, told reporters on
Wednesday. "It's not episodic or sporadic. It's relatively constant and
creative." Townsend said Islamic State fighters are using drones mostly
for reconnaissance and surveillance -- "the same way we use drones." But
Townsend also said he's seen ISIL use drones to direct what they're
shooting at. "More recently, they've gotten a bit more creative and they
have dropped small explosive devices into our partner force positions.
Those haven't had, fortunately haven't had a great affect. And recently
we saw an example of a Trojan horse, we think, UAV