It is believed that Abu Mu’taz Qahtani, the terror group’s head finance officer in Iraq, has fled the city as Iraqi forces try to liberate it from ISIS rule, taking massive amounts of cash with him.
It comes as coalition forces working to free Mosul have confirmed up to 900 ISIS militants have been killed in the last week and hinted that an offensive to liberate the ISIS Syrian stronghold of Raqqa could be next.
An Iraqi soldier stands next to a detained man accused of being an ISIS fighter in Mosul. His arrest comes as a female ISIS commander has gone on the run after leaving Mosul with millions of dollars
Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are pushing towards Mosul along several axes and have been detaining ISIS fighters with 900 of them killed in the battle
Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are pushing towards Mosul along several axes and have made relatively quick progress as they approach Iraq’s second city.
Along the way, many jihadis have been killed or arrested with others fleeing the terror group and trying to blend in with the general population.
And according to al-Sumaria News, one of those that has left the jihadis is Qahtani, who was responsible for recruiting female foreign fighters.
It is believed he is on the run with a German woman having swiped important ISIS documents as well as millions of dollars in cash.
People stand at a check point outside Qayyara, south of Mosul as smoke in the background is from burning oilfields set ablaze by ISIS fighters
Two women and a child leave their homes in Mosul as fighting intensifies. Many in the city say some of the 5,000 jihadis there are trying to disguise themselves
It comes as people in Mosul say some of the 5,000 jihadis thought to be in the city are trying to disguise themselves.
One resident Abu Saif told AFP: ‘I saw some Daesh (ISIS) members and they looked completely different from the last time I saw them.
The brother of a man who was executed by ISIS pauses to remember his sibling as he leaves Iraq. He says that ISIS killed women and young children too
‘They had trimmed their beards and changed their clothes. They must be scared… they are also probably preparing to escape the city.’
While General Joseph Votel, who heads the US military’s Central Command confirmed up to 900 ISIS fighters have already been killed in the battle for Mosul.
He said: ‘Just in the operations over the last week and a half associated with Mosul, we estimate they’ve probably killed about 800 to 900 Islamic State fighters.
Votel cautioned it was hard to provide precise numbers as ISIS fighters move around the city and blend in with the local population.
Meanwhile US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday an attack on Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in Syria, would start while the battle of Mosul is still unfolding.
He predicted it would only be weeks before forces start an offensive to liberate the Syrian city.
Armed members of Shi’ite militia Hashid Shaabi ride a motorbike near Qayyara. Coalition forces have hinted they could also launch an offensive to liberate the ISIS Syrian stronghold of Raqqa
A farmer tries to move his sheep to safety as fighting rages around his farm on the outskirts of Mosul
And Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend also added that American intelligence has detected indistinct signs of terrorists plotting against the West from Raqqa, adding urgency to coalition plans to encircle and eventually assault the city.
He explained: ‘We know they’re up to something, and it’s an external plot. We don’t know exactly where’ they intend to strike. We don’t know exactly when.’
‘We know this plot-and-planning is emanating from Raqqa. We think we’ve got to get to Raqqa pretty soon.’
He declined to be more precise about a timeline but said there is ‘a sense of urgency’ due to the uncertainty of the threat.