“Unrelenting Islamic State fighters make endgame in Mosul frustratingly tough and bloody”

“Unrelenting Islamic State fighters make endgame in Mosul frustratingly tough and bloody”

The Washington Times
The Difficult Road Ahead: Stabilizing Iraq and the Gulf Region

24 Apr 2017

The Washington Times reports: It was a strong opening, but the endgame is proving a hard slog for the U.S. and its Iraqi allies trying to oust Islamic State fighters from their last big outpost in the country.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have made progress extracting Islamic State fighters from their last redoubts in the northern city of Mosul, but the battle has descended into a frustratingly bloody affair at its six-month milestone with brutal street-by-street combat.

Iraqi and coalition forces have been building steady momentum against the Islamic State in a series of hard-fought battlefield victories since the massive assault to retake Mosul began in October, the top U.S. ground commander, Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, said Wednesday.
“They’ve got the equipment they need, they’ve got the momentum they need and that’s why they’re making progress each and every day,” Gen. Martin told reporters during a teleconference from coalition headquarters in Baghdad.

The pace of the fighting has become a political issue in the U.S. after Donald Trump on the campaign trail last year charged that the Mosul offensive was “bogging down” because of the Obama administration’s huge advance warning before the first shots were fired. The capture of Mosul would deprive the Islamic State of its last major foothold in Iraq even as the U.S. and its allies in Syria lay siege to the terrorist group’s de facto capital of Raqqa.

To read the full article, follow this link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/19/mosul-battle-bogs-down-iraq-us-coalition-allies/