On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces liberated the city of Shirqat from ISIS control. Shirqat is a small city on the west bank of the Tigris river, along the main road into Baghdad, 60 miles south of Mosul, and was the last major city between Iraqi security Forces and a Mosul offensive. The operation to retake Mosul is estimated to begin in October.

We assess today that the Iraqis will have in early October all the forces marshalled, trained, fielded, equipped that are necessary for operations in Mosul,” US General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a military event in Washington on Wednesday.

“Timing of that operation now is really just a function of a political decision by Prime Minister [Haider al-]Abadi.”- al Jazeera

On Wednesday, following the victory in Shirqat, the Pentagon asked for 500 more troops in Iraq for the Mosul offensive which would bring the troop level to approximately 4900.