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Iraqi assault on ISIS in Mosul still months away

by SOFREP News Team Mar 7, 2016
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Iraqi assault on ISIS in Mosul still months away

It will take many more months to prepare Iraq’s still struggling military for a long-anticipated assault on the Islamic State group’s biggest stronghold in the country, the city of Mosul, U.S. and Iraqi officials say — and it may not even be possible to retake it this year, despite repeated vows by Prime Minister Haider al-AbadiIt will take many more months to prepare Iraq’s still struggling military for a long-anticipated assault on the Islamic State group’s biggest stronghold in the country, the city of Mosul, U.S. and Iraqi officials say — and it may not even be possible to retake it this year, despite repeated vows by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

As the U.S. and its allies furiously work to train thousands more troops for the daunting task of retaking Iraq’s second largest city, Islamic State group fighters are launching a diversion campaign of bloody suicide attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere. Their aim is to force Iraq’s already overburdened security forces to spread even thinner to protect the capital and other cities rather than prepare the Mosul operation.

Iraq’s answer to that has been to plan to build a wall around the capital. Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqis are struggling to protect pockets of territory that have been recaptured from the extremists to free up forces for Mosul.

“Mosul will be very complicated, it will be a mix of forces and it will be very important to ensure it’s well planned,” Brett McGurk, President Barack Obama’s envoy to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said Saturday.

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