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Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

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wciappetta
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Iraq says it's launched offensive to recapture IS-held Mosul

Post by wciappetta on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 4:48 am

Iraq says it's launched offensive to recapture IS-held Mosul
Published March 24, 2016
Associated Press
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  • FILE - In this Tuesday, July 8, 2014 file photo, an Iraqi refugee man who left his hometown of Mosul walks towards Irbil as he crosses a berm that separates Kurdish fighters and militants of the Islamic State group outside the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. An Iraqi military spokesman says the long-awaited military operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants "has begun." The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, says Iraqi forces retook several villages on the outskirts of the town of Makhmour, east of Mosul, on Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they carry the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq. An Iraqi military spokesman says the long-awaited military operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants "has begun." The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, says Iraqi forces retook several villages on the outskirts of the town of Makhmour, east of Mosul, on Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo, File) (The Associated Press)

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BAGHDAD –  An Iraqi military spokesman says the long-awaited military operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants "has begun."
The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, says Iraqi forces retook several villages on the outskirts of the town of Makhmour, east of Mosul, on Thursday morning.
Rasool says the U.S.-led international coalition is providing air support. He wouldn't divulge more details.
It was not immediately clear how long such a complex and taxing operation could take. Mosul lies 360 kilometers, or 225 miles, northwest of Baghdad.
It's Iraq's second-largest city and it fell to Islamic State group during the militants' June 2014 onslaught. Mosul is also the largest city in the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/24/iraq-says-it-launched-offensive-to-recapture-is-held-mosul.html


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Re: Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

Post by sassy on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 5:11 am

This is great news to hear!!   

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Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

Post by rocky on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:10 am

abcnews.go.com 

Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul


ABC News

The Iraqi military backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft on Thursday launched a long-awaited operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, a military spokesman said.

In the push, Iraqi forces retook several villages on the outskirts of the town of Makhmour, east of Mosul, early in the morning on Thursday and hoisted the Iraqi flag there, according to the spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool.

It was not immediately clear how long such a complex and taxing offensive would take. Only recently, Iraqi and U.S. officials refrained to give a specific time on when the Mosul operation could begin, saying it would take many months to prepare Iraq's still struggling military for the long-anticipated task of retaking the key city.

Some U.S. and Iraqi officials have said it may not even be possible to retake it this year, despite repeated vows by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Iraqi state-run TV interrupted its morning program Thursday with a series of news alerts announcing the operation and broadcasting patriotic songs and flag-waving video clips.

Rasool told The Associated Press that the U.S.-led international coalition was providing air support but would not divulge more details on the offensive, which he said was dubbed "Operation Conquest."

According to an official at the military's provincial Nineveh Operations Command, the aim of the first phase of the Mosul offensive was to clear the areas between Makmour and the adjacent Qayara area to the east of the Tigris River, and to cut one of the supply lines to the nearby Shirqat area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Mosul — Iraq's second-largest city — fell to the Islamic State group during the militants' June 2014 onslaught that captured large swaths of northern and western Iraq and also neighboring Syria. Mosul, about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, became also the largest city in the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate on the territories the militants control.

Rasool's declaration came only few days after the United States announced that it has set up a small Marine artillery outpost in northern Iraq to protect a nearby Iraqi military base in Makhmour — the likely staging ground for a Mosul assault, located 40 miles (67 kilometers) southeast of the city.

On Saturday, the militants fired two rockets at the base, killing a U.S. Marine and wounding several others.

Despite Thursday's announcement, the number of Iraqi troops needed to carry out the operation to retake Mosul, nearly two years after it fell to IS, is not yet in place and training efforts by the U.S.-led coalition are still ongoing.

Under political pressure to show victory, al-Abadi has repeatedly vowed to "liberate" Mosul, but U.S. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress last month that he is "not as optimistic."

Coalition and Iraqi officials estimate that an eight to 12 brigades, or an estimated 24,000 to 36,000 troops, will be needed for the Mosul operation. So far, only 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqi troops have been deployed at Makhmour base.

The Iraqi military must also clear IS fighters from more than 100 kilometers (70 miles) of territory to ensure reliable supply lines between Makhmour and Baghdad.

One leg of the Iraqi military's efforts to clear some of that territory in Anbar has been put on hold. A political crisis in Baghdad has prompted al-Abadi to pull some of Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces back from the front in the Euphrates River valley to secure the capital.

The prime minister recalled the forces after influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr mobilized thousands and staged a sit-in outside Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone last week in a show of force meant to put pressure on Iraq's political leadership.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...mosul-37890450

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Re: Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

Post by weslin3 on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 12:01 pm

Saw this on the news today...

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Re: Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

Post by notazbad2000 on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:54 pm

Iraq launches offensive against Islamic State south of Mosul
BAGHDAD/ERBIL, IRAQ BY ISABEL COLES AND SAIF HAMEED


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Iraqi security forces wait for vehicles travelling to Mosul to fight against militants of Islamic State at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016.
[size=10]REUTERS/AHMED SAAD




[/size]
Iraq's armed forces went on the offensive against Islamic State in the northern province of Nineveh on Thursday in what Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described as the first phase of a campaign to liberate areas around the city of Mosul.

The assault was launched from the Makhmour area, to which thousands of Iraqi troops have deployed in recent weeks, setting up base alongside Kurdish peshmerga and U.S. forces around 60 km south of Mosul, Islamic State's main bastion.

Iraqi officials say they will retake Mosul this year but, in private, many question whether the army, which partially collapsed when Islamic State overran a third of the country in June 2014, will be ready in time.

The northern city is by far the largest population center controlled by the jihadists, and has already been cut off on three sides by the peshmerga, who are less than 15 km (9 miles) from its northern outskirts at some points along the front line.

Backed by air power from a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab states, and by the peshmerga, Iraqi troops advanced westwards at dawn, recapturing several villages from the militants, according to multiple military sources.

Abadi said the move had been "swift and decisive".

"Daesh is in retreat," he tweeted, using a derogatory Arabic acronym for the group.

Peshmerga commander Najat Ali said Iraqi forces had taken a couple of villages without any resistance but that Islamic State was putting up a fight in two others, and had set oil ablaze to produce smoke as a shield against coalition air strikes.

A contingent of local Sunni tribal fighters also took part in Thursday's offensive, which brings Iraqi forces closer to the Tigris river.

Iraqi security analyst Hisham al-Hashimi said it remained to be seen whether troops would be able to cross over to the oil town of Qayara on its western bank.

Qayara is an Islamic State hub connecting Mosul with their stronghold of Hawija further east, from which the militants have threatened oil installations around Kirkuk.

A Shi'ite militia leader met Kurdish peshmerga commanders last week to discuss plans to push the insurgents out of the Hawija area together with the Iraqi army.

A military statement cited by Iraqi state TV said Thursday's advance was the first phase in an operation dubbed "Fatah", or "Conquest", that aimed to liberate Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital.

The military statement urged civilians to stay away from buildings used by the insurgents, warning that they would be targeted in days to come.



(Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUSKCN0WQ0IR


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Re: Iraq Says It's Launched Offensive to Recapture IS-Held Mosul

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