Iraq PM: No US combat troops to stay in Iraq after IS

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14 May, 2017

He said Abadi is looking to install a "modest" Iraqi military presence in Mosul after the fight against the Islamic State group is concluded along with a small number of U.S. forces.

Close U.S. support should help the involvement of the armoured division and reduce the risk for civilians, U.S. Army Lt. -Col.

The Iraqi security forces continue their maneuver around the city and they'll position themselves for these last few neighborhoods. "At some point, you know, the city will be very hard for enemy fighters or leaders to leave". "They rejoice in victory or martyrdom for the sake of liberating the rest of the city of Mosul from Daesh (IS) terrorists", the statement read in full. The new operation opens a second front in the effort to regain control of Mosul. Mosul is a city split between eastern and western halves by the Tigris River. At that time, government forces made incremental gains in Mosul's Old City, approaching the Grand Mosque, where in a rare public appearance in July 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the group's self-styled caliphate after it had occupied nearly a third of Iraq. Basri was the IS leader for Mosul's Mesherfa and al-Haramat areas, Iraqi News reported.

Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared a "caliphate" spanning parts of Syria and vast swathes of Iraqi territory from the pulpit of the Grand Al-Nuri Mosque almost three years ago.

It's spokesman, Colonel John Dorrian, says that Iraqi forces' surprise attack from the north means achieving that goal is just a matter of time. Iraq's military does not release casualty information for its forces.

More than six months of fighting has killed and wounded more than 8,000 civilians, according to the United Nations, a number that only counts people transferred to hospitals from front-line clinics.

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According to Iraq Body Count, an independent monitoring group, USA airstrikes killed 1,117 people in western Mosul in March and April alone. Since the USA combat mission ended in 2014, Afghan forces have managed to secure control just over 60 percent of the country.

At least 26 members of the army, police, tribal forces and border guard died in the attacks but the jihadists' "state" has looked doomed for months.

Mosul fell to IS almost three years ago and the operation to retake it was launched in October. Now they aim to free western Mosul, where around 2,000 jihadis are said to have entrenched themselves.

Footage taken by a drone operated by the Iraqi 9th Armored Division over the northwestern suburb of Musherfa and seen by Reuters, showed the militants had scant defenses there, unlike in other parts of Mosul where streets are blocked by anti-tank barriers and vehicles. All indications are that the civilians were hiding in the school in the course of trying to flee the area. But, skilled in guerrilla tactics, the militants familiar with what's left of the city.

There already have been undeclared inscreases in the number of U.S. troops deployed to Iraq, with 300 to 500 new soldiers posted to Anbar and Nineveh provinces, Iraqi offocials have told The New Arab.


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