Powers discuss Mosul as Iraq forces inch towards outskirts

"In these columns of people leaving Mosul will be hiding terrorists who will try to go further, to Raqqa in particular", Hollande said, calling for greater intelligence sharing to identify them.

Hundreds of displaced families who had been sheltering in the Kirkuk province from the conflict with IS began moving out after authorities told them on Sunday to leave or face being forcibly expelled, humanitarian workers and residents said on Tuesday.

Seeking to draw attention away from the Mosul campaign, ISIL has staged attacks in the northern city of Kirkuk and western town of Rutba in recent days.

"Yes, there will be overlap and that's part of our plan and we are prepared for that", Carter told a news conference in Paris after a gathering of 13 countries in the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

The United States expects the campaigns against Islamic State in Mosul and Raqqa to overlap, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday, signaling that a push to start isolating the group's de facto capital in Syria may not be very far off.

"We have reports saying the militants killed some civilians and members of the security forces, but we don't know how many", he said.

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The next day, Iraqi security forces reportedly found bodies of 70 civilians ridden with bullet holes inside houses in the Tuloul Naser Village, located about 22 miles south of Mosul. It is expected to take weeks, if not months, to drive Islamic State militants out of Iraq's second largest city, which is still home to more than a million people.

Tensions have been rising between Baghdad and Ankara, whose foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, warned Tuesday that his country would not hesitate to launch a ground operation.

The White House envoy to the US -led coalition battling IS insisted the militants' strategy was failing, saying there had been "no diversion whatsoever" of forces taking part in the Mosul operation, which is expected to take weeks, if not months.

Iraqi forces backed by U.S. -led coalition airstrikes battled Islamic State militants for a third day on Tuesday in a remote western town, hundreds of kilometers (miles) to the south of the operation to retake the northern city of Mosul, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

The Iraqi military has insisted throughout the Rutba assault that the situation is under control, without offering further details.

"The coalition continues conducting strikes to support the Iraqi security forces' response efforts, including one against a Daesh convoy that was attempting to flee the area", he added, referring to IS by an Arabic acronym.

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More than 7,000 coalition military personnel are deployed in Iraq, a lot of them in advisory or support roles, but special forces have fought IS on the ground, and artillery units are also targeting the jihadists.

Human rights staff in Iraq have been informed that ISIS killed 15 civilians in the Iraqi village of Safina, about 28 miles south of Mosul.

Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan was the fourth member of the U.S. military to be killed in Iraq by the Islamic State jihadist group, which overran large parts of the country, including Mosul, in June 2014.

McGurk said the militant attacks on Rutba were carried out by "small, isolated teams" and were "easily defeatable".

"At this stage, we're noticing fighter movement from Syria to Iraq, not the other way around", the official said.

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