Published: Wed, October 19, 2016
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

British DM: IS will 'fight hard' for Mosul despite recent losses

Administration officials have not said how long it will take for the campaign to root out the approximately 7,000 Islamic State fighters believed to be in the city and its environs.

"If we want to fight effectively against terrorism it is essential to take this city".

The military operation to retake from Daesh Iraq's Mosul, which has been terrorists stronghold since 2014, started on Monday dawn.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition said the operation was proceeding as planned, and Iraqi forces were making "excellent progress".

"We are just holding our positions", said Col. Khathar Sheikhan, of the peshmerga.

But an Iraqi special forces commander said his troops have delayed an advance following a request from Kurdish forces for more time to achieve their goals.

'More than 20 countries and organizations have been invited to provide necessary support to the Iraqi government (.) with the aim of ensuring that that the operations liberating Mosul are effective and result in the disappearance of the threat posed by ISIS, ' adds the text.

A video released by ISIL's news agency al-Amaq purported to show an Iraqi army Abrams tank being struck by a missile fired by its fighters. Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq, with anywhere between 1 and 1.5 million civilians trapped in the city.

"Learning who Isis's fighters are and where they come from is essential to developing effective policy responses to local conflicts that Isis effectively links to its ideology and agenda", he said.

"Out out, you occupier", was one of the slogans being chanted, according to witnesses. Baghdad denies it granted permission and has ordered the Turks to withdraw - a call Ankara has ignored.

The pause comes after a day of intense fighting involving airstrikes, heavy artillery and IS auto bombs.

Screening procedures for civilians fleeing Mosul have been enhanced, in an effort to learn from the battle for Fallujah, in Anbar province.

"We must win the war but also look at everything that will enable us to win the peace", he said. It's expected to take weeks or even months.

Iraqi forces recently retook Qayyarah, an area some 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Mosul, setting the stage for the final push on IS's northern bastion.

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