Abadi Says Mosul Operations Won’t Be Easy For Iraqi Forces
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraq’s flag will be raised in the city of Mosul in the near future but that operations to liberate the city will not be easy.
Abadi said on Monday (July 25) that operations to regain Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS) will begin in the near future as the Iraqi army has completed the preparations of the battle.
“The operations to liberate Mosul will be hard for the Iraqi forces but we will raise the Iraqi flag inside the city soon,” Abadi added.
Kurdish leaders also expect operations to dislodge ISIS from its bastion in Iraq will be difficult.
In an interview with Voice of America, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the Mosul operations are still at the “planning stage” because Iraqi forces are neither prepared for operations nor the period after militants are removed from the city.
“There are two reasons … from the military and security point of view, who will control the city in the future? The control of the city must be carefully evaluated,” Barzani said. “Aside from this, the Iraqi army is not adequately ready and could take months to get ready,” he added.
The KRG premier also said Peshmerga forces will play a “central role” in the liberation of the city of Mosul.
Mosul has remained an ISIS stronghold in Iraq since militants overran the city in June 2014 in a lightning offensive across northern Iraq.