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Iraqi Military Drops Leaflets on ISIS-Held Mosul: 'Liberation Is Close'

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BAGHDAD — Iraq's military has dropped 2 million leaflets over Mosul urging citizens there to cooperate with an impending operation to recapture the city from ISIS militants, officials said Wednesday.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have pledged to retake Mosul after it fell to ISIS in June last year. Making contact with residents inside Mosul has been difficult after ISIS destroyed the city's communications network.

A Ministry of Defense official told NBC News that Iraqi C-130 military planes dropped the leaflets over the city on Tuesday evening.

"To the generous people of Mosul," the leaflets read in Arabic. "The day you were waiting for, your liberation, is close. It is time to drive out the infidels of ISIS from your holy land."

While recent offensives against ISIS have focused further south, a senior U.S. official told NBC News last month that the fight could move further north to Mosul as early as April.

"Your armed forces are close to you, and they are ready to participate with you in defeating ISIS forever," the leaflets dropped on Mosul on Tuesday read, urging residents to "find their hidden locations [and] record their outrageous actions."

"Mosul is your city, Iraq is your country," the leaflets added.

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