DEIR EZ-ZOWR / MOSUL / MOSCOW: The head of Russia's General Staff said on Wednesday Moscow was concerned that militants holed up in the Iraqi city of Mosul might escape to Syria, saying they should be killed on the spot instead.

"It's essential not to chase the terrorists from one country to another but to destroy them on the spot," Valery Gerasimov said in a statement.

Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are approaching Mosul, part of a plan to take back the city which has been controlled by radical Sunni group Islamic State since 2014.