“The forces that have been prepared for the Mosul operation have been trained and they will be equipped with advanced weapons during the assault,” Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Iraqi commander of the Nineveh Operations Lieutenant General Najim al-Jibouri said Thursday that special forces are being concentrated north of Baghdad for the liberation of Mosul.
Al-Jibouri told Rudaw that units from the 15th and 16th divisions of the Iraqi army, federal police and the Golden brigade are gearing up north of the capital for the operation.
“These forces are concentrated near Baiji and elsewhere and this step is part of a major plan drawn for the retaking of the city of Mosul,” he said.
Lt Gen. al-Jibouri said that the operation will be launched in conjunction with an intensive air campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) positions by coalition fighter jets.
Mosul has been under ISIS control since June 2014 when militants attacked the city from Syria and routed the Iraqi army from the province.
“The forces that have been prepared for the Mosul operation have been trained and they will be equipped with advanced weapons during the assault,” said al-Jibouri.
Lt Gen. al-Jibouri’s statement came a day after US President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of 450 additional forces to train the Iraqi army and Sunni forces in the war against ISIS.