Defeating ISIS: Iraqi forces begin new push in Mosul

Clarion Christian Militia Celebrates in Reclaimed Iraqi City					Matt Cardy  Getty Images			by Breitbart News3 May 20170		3 May 2017		3 May 2017

Iraqi forces on Thursday started a new offensive as part of a US-backed campaign to drive the Islamic State extremist militia from its last key stronghold of Mosul.

Any forces who remained would continue to be designated as advisers for the same reason, the Iraqi government official said.

A member of the Iraqi forces walks towards a military vehicle as they advance towards the al-Haramat neighborhood, north of Mosul, on May 5, 2017, during the ongoing offensive to retake the area from Takfiri Daesh militants.

"But they are in the densest urban terrain of Mosul, and they're going to be very hard attack", said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the USA -led coalition.

Just after dawn Thursday morning, Iraqi forces began a push along the northern edge of Mosul's western half where Islamic State group fighters are holding onto a cluster of neighborhoods, according to the spokesman for the ministry of defense. Mr. Trump and others have criticized the Obama administration for agreeing to what they say was a too-hasty USA withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, with Islamic State eventually filling the security vacuum three years later.

A few days after the 82nd's deployment, the Trump administration announced that it would cease disclosing information about the scope and nature of future USA troop deployments in both Iraq and Syria, citing operational security and "tactical surprise". Iraqi forces now seem to be moving closer to the Old City in apparent anticipation of an operation to clear it.

While an increased USA military commitment in Iraq could build on recent battlefield victories against ISIS, the proposed US troop surge in Afghanistan is needed to break the stalemate in the war there.

Over the almost three-year fight against Islamic State, Iraqi forces with US-led coalition backing have retaken some 65 percent of rebel-controlled territory, according to the Pentagon.

It said Iraqi forces had already captured a small outlying village called Hsunah and a nearby gas factory.

"I also believe that what we saw and participated in was a major transformation", he said. At the time, the seeming end of the war was politically popular in both Iraq and the United States. Iraq and Iran also share a religion, a long border and in some cases, national interests in the region. Iraqi forces backed by US artillery and air power have retaken the eastern half of the city, and are battling to reclaim the western half in brutal urban combat.

There, al-Baghdadi designated the terror group's caliphate after they took over nearly a third of Iraq.

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