USA Today: Iraqi commander: Could take months to take control of Mosul from ISIL
BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces face a dilemma as they push farther into Mosul: How to draw out entrenched Islamic State fighters while protecting residents who’ve been hunkered in their homes for weeks.
“We are advancing steadily,” said Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, a commander in Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces. "We are taking in civilians fleeing (Islamic State-controlled) areas while prioritizing protecting residents inside the city.”
Since Oct. 17 when the offensive on Mosul began, Iraqi forces have advanced from the east and the south, clearing surrounding towns and finally entering the eastern districts of the city last week. They have encountered heavy resistance from the militants as they attempt to move toward the city center.
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