The much-awaited liberation of Mosul from ISIS stalled late last month almost as soon as bullets flew, when Iraqi government troops once again fled from the black-clad terrorist army, members of the broad coalition poised to retake the key city told FoxNews.com this week.

The Iraqi army, which was heavily criticized for abandoning posts – and weapons – as ISIS moved in on Mosul in June of 2014, had begun taking small villages on the outskirts after Baghdad announced the campaign March 24. But the liberation effort, which was to include Shia and Sunni militias, Kurds, Christians and Yazidis with U.S.-led coalition support, was quickly paused when the opposition struck back.

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