BAGHDAD / MOSUL : Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday it was the duty of the U.S.-led coalition to prevent Islamic State militants from escaping into nearby Syria from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The coalition is providing air and ground support to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces that launched an offensive on Monday to retake Mosul, Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq which it captured in 2014.

In addition, Reuters reports:

DAMASCUS / MOSUL: The Syrian army on Tuesday accused the U.S.-led coalition of planning to allow Islamic State militants to flee Iraq's city of Mosul across the Syrian border, saying it would confront this attempt with all its means.

A statement by the army command said the plan entailed securing roads and safe passages into Syria to allow the militants to consolidate their presence and create "new battleground realities" in eastern Syria.