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Rudaw

Iraq

Defense chief: Mosul offensive to start in June with thousands of volunteer fighters

By Rudaw 23/1/2016
 Iraqi Shiite volunteers jump on an army truck outside a recruitment center in Baghdad to join the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). 2014. Photo: AFP
Iraqi Shiite volunteers jump on an army truck outside a recruitment center in Baghdad to join the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). 2014. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq’s Defense Minister, Khalid Al-Obeidi claimed on Friday that a timeframe for the long-anticipated battle for Mosul has been set for June, 2016, with the participation of various well-trained forces.

"The Iraqi defense ministry has laid security plans to launch the Mosul liberation operations from Daesh [ISIS] militants," Obeidi revealed to reporters during a visit to Cairo.

Obeidi said that tens of thousands of volunteer fighters will be taking part in the battle alongside government forces.

He added that similar plans had succeeded in Anbar and its provincial capital Ramadi.

“[The Iraqi ] army and security forces in coordination with the International coalition have managed to prevail against the Islamic State in the Anbar province in general, and Ramadi city in particular," he said.

The defense chief praised the Shiite militia for their part in the war against ISIS, hinting that they might be called upon for the Mosul offensive.

"Military forces of the Hashd al-Shaabi (Shiite militia) are successful examples of Iraqi forces against [Daesh] and they have been of great help to the Iraqi army and security forces to defend the sovereignty of the country in the fight against terrorism," that is why "the role of Hashd al-Shaabi should not be neglected."

Obeidi’s June timeline resonates with similar comments made by Sunni politician and former Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi who told Rudaw last week that he expected the Mosul offensive to start in the middle of this year.

Kurdish and American officials however, are less sure about any such plan.

"I do not think the Mosul offensive could happen this year. I don't think the Iraqi armed forces are ready and I don't think the [American-led] coalition is confident in the ability of everyone to get ready in time for an offensive this year," Kurdistan Region’s Deputy Prime Minister Qaubad Talabani told Reuters last week

Comments

 
Netewêparêzê Kurd | 23/1/2016
We need to liberate the east bank of Mûsil (resettle Kurds there and displace all Saddam loving Arabs which came after the 1960s), Mendelî, Badrê, Cesan and Dûz Xûrmatû from the terrorist Turkmen groups of Hişd el Şabî. In Rojava we must free Minbij, Kanîya Dil (Cerablûs), Bab, Ezaz, the corridor to the Mediterranean sea through north of Îdlîb and Lazkîyê provinces and Reqqa. Soon the Kurds in Bakûr will liberate the earth of our fatherland from Îgidir to Qoçgîrî (Sêwaz) and from Îskenderûn province to Erdêxan. When the time comes our Rojhilatîs will conquer Wirmê province (so called 'West-Azerbaijan') to Yarsûc in the really south of Kurdistan. Our Greater Kurdistan will be on the maps of the world in the next decades.
LUFC2009 | 23/1/2016
Its This the same as peace in the region?

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