Army-Kurd force to fight for ISIL-held Mosul: US official

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Friday, 20 February 2015

A thousands-strong force comprising Iraqi army troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters is set to launch a large-scale military operation aimed at liberating the ISIL-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

A US military spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Thursday that the operation will begin in April or May if the Iraqi and Kurdish forces are ready by then.

The official from US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, said the offensive will involve between 20,000 and 25,000 troops.

It will start in April or May “with the caveat the Iraqi forces have to be ready at that time,” the official said. “It’s not set in stone. It could fluctuate to later time in the year.”
Earlier in the week, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that government forces were planning an offensive on Mosul.

The Iraqi city is home to more than one million people. The city fell to ISIL militants last June.

There are reportedly between 1,000 and 2,000 militants with the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group holding Mosul.

Kurdish forces, known as Peshmerga, have launched successful offensives against ISIL-held roads near Mosul.

The ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

The terrorists have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against all Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have succeeded in driving the ISIL terrorists out of some areas in Iraq.

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