Patrick Cockburn, The Independent: Iraqi troops are getting bogged down in Mosul – Could it spark the first crisis for President Trump?
Kurdish leaders are warning that what could have taken weeks is likely to drag on for months - posing problems for the US-led coalition and especially its incoming Commander-in-Chief.
The Iraqi armed forces are becoming bogged down in the battle for Mosul. Its elite special forces and an armoured division are fighting to hold districts in the eastern outskirts of the city against counter-attacks by Isis fighters using networks of tunnels to move about unseen.
“In one day we lost 37 dead and 70 wounded,” said a former senior Iraqi official, adding that the Iraqi forces had been caught by surprise by the extent of the tunnel system built by Isis, said to be 45 miles long.
The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and the Ninth Armoured Division have been trying for two weeks to fight their way into that part of Mosul city, east of the Tigris River.
Isis is sending waves of suicide bombers either as individuals who blow themselves up or in vehicles packed with explosives, snipers and mortar teams, to restart the fighting in a dozen districts that the Iraqi Army had said were already captured.
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WNU Editor: I do not think that the campaign to retake Mosul will be President Trump's first crisis .... but I do agree with Patrick Cockburn in the above post and Oliver North (in the above video) that this battle is going to last a long time .... probably until the spring of 2017.