Iraqi planes drop leaflets on west Mosul to say offensive is imminent

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi air force has dropped millions of leaflets on the western side of Mosul telling the population that a ground offensive to dislodge Islamic State from their neighborhoods is imminent, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
The militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after US-backed forces surrounding the city dislodged them from the east in the first phase of an offensive that concluded last month.
The leaflets "contain instructions for the citizens to get ready to welcome the Iraqi forces that are coming to liberate their areas and to warn the Daesh (Islamic State) members to lay down their weapons and surrender," the ministry said in a statement.