The Pentagon, departing from its principle of keeping its war plan against ISIS secret, announced on Thursday its intention to re-capture Mosul, second largest city of Iraq, during the months of April and May from the terrorists’ occupation.
A Central Command official of the U.S., speaking at a press briefing at the headquarters of the Pentagon, said that the operation to retake Mosul would involve Iraqi troops between 20000 and 25000 which would include three Peshmerga brigades. He expected around 1000 to 2000 Islamic State terrorists controlling Mosul. The official added that the military might of the IS was on the decline. He further revealed that IS was passing through a difficult phase, and was losing ground daily. He, however, declined to reveal the motive behind making public US intention to re-capture Mosul in advance. It is surmised that the declaration is to show Iraqi determination to regain control of Mosul which the IS has declared as capital of the self-declared Caliphate. The official further added that the operation is likely to begin before Ramdan, scheduled for June 17. However, he added that the time of the launch of attack might change if Iraqi troops are not combat ready.
As per the Defense Department of the US, around 2000 Iraqi troops are combat ready by now, and additional 3200 are under training for the same. Five army brigades of Iraq comprising around 10000 soldiers have been chosen as the initial force of attack. The training of those brigades gets underway shortly. The disclosure of Pentagon about its plan about Mosul has come in the backdrop of IS capture of parts of al-Baghdadi, a town only three miles away from the Ain al-Asad air base having 320 US Marines and Iraqi trainees stationed there. Pentagon is optimistic, rather determined to re-capture Mosul which has become the rallying point of the terrorists.