In a clear sign defeat is imminent, ISIS fighters have taken to shaving their beards so as to flee the former ISIS stronghold of Mosul.
The Associated Press reports that Iraqi Special Forces leader Lt. Gen. Sami al-Aridi said that the militants shave their beards in order to avoid detection from US soldiers and blend in with the local population.
“They just shave their beards and walk out,” al-Aridi said. “Just yesterday we captured two among a group of women and children.”
While these militants were captured, hundreds more have succeeded in escaping Mosul to Syria, where ISIS still holds territory.
In Mosul, ISIS retains a mere 600 square yards of land they control, but “tight alleyways with booby traps, civilians and ISIS fighters” have made a complete retaking of the city slow.
A UN official estimated Wednesday that at least 6 of Mosul’s 44 districts have been completely destroyed, and the city will need roughly $1 billion worth of infrastructure repair.
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