Iraqi forces ‘gearing up’ to retake Mosul from Islamic state

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By Mohammed al-Salehi

Azzaman, August 27, 2014

Iraqi troops and allied Sunni tribal leaders are on their way to launch an attack to retake Mosul, a senior provincial official said.

Zuhair al-Jalabi, the head of Nineveh’s provincial council, said the troops and tribes were emboldened following the advances of Kurdish militias or peshmerga and units from the Iraqi armed forces have made recently in areas to the north and west of Mosul.

Mosul is the capital of Nineveh Province and is currently along with large swathes of Iraqi territory under the control of militants from the Islamic State (IS).

According to local press reports, special forces and armed tribesmen were moving “gradually to purge Mosul” and they had already recaptured areas close to the city.

“The General Command and intelligence organs have in place plans to liquidate IS,” one report said.

Another said Iraqi planes dropped leaflets on the city informing its two million inhabitants of the military preparations and asking them to assist the troops.

Meanwhile, a senior Kurdish leader said Kurdish forces were reinforcing positions in the areas they recaptured recently.

Muhamma Khali, deputy head of the Kurdish parliamentary coalition in Baghdad, said Kurdish forces and Iraqi troops were coordinating their plans and were determined to drive IS from Nineveh Province.