Washington Post: In Iraq, ‘all the pieces’ are now in place to take Mosul back from the Islamic State
The U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State has prepared “all the pieces” it needs to take back the Iraqi city of Mosul, and expects military operations there are “rapidly approaching,” a senior State Department official said Friday.
Brett McGurk, the State Department’s envoy to the coalition, said the mission to take back the city of more than 1 million people will be “a very unpredictable, very dynamic, very uncertain operation.” It will be the most ambitious and complex operation the Iraqi government has undertaken against the Islamic State since it roared across the country in 2014, and include approximately 30,000 Iraqi forces.
McGurk, speaking at the State Department, said there’s a “humanitarian imperative” to expel the militants from Mosul as soon as possible. But he acknowledged putting the city back together will be a major undertaking. An extensive amount of planning has gone into understanding the political dynamics between different forces involved in the battle, the humanitarian assistance that will be required, and how local government will be organized after the battle, he said.
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WNU editor: It appears that sectarian divisions aside .... Before the battle of Mosul, each group chases its own agenda (The National) .... everyone is now ready to participate in the liberation of Mosul .... U.S. forces increasing Iraq footprint ahead of Mosul operation (AP). But it will be the Iraqi military calling the shots .... US envoy: In Mosul, ‘there is one plan, there is one command’ (RUDAW).