ISIL leaders defecting before Mosul operation: general

Final brigade for offensive recently began 3-week training by coalition forces

ISIL leaders defecting before Mosul operation: general

World Bulletin / News Desk

ISIL leaders are leaving Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare to take the city held by the militant group since 2014, a Canadian general said Wednesday.

Comments by Brig. Gen. Dave Anderson, who heads the U.S.-led coalition’s train-and-equip program for Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces, came during a video conference from Baghdad.

 “We've already seen signs of [ISIL] leaders abandoning their posts in Mosul, because they know what's coming. They know that Mosul is going to fall,” he said. “Plans are being finalized for the Mosul liberation while shaping operations, positioning of forces, logistics and ammunition and the relentless employment of coalition strikes all set the stage for success in Mosul.”

According to the general, the final brigade that will take part in the operation recently began three weeks of training by the coalition that has trained 12 brigades to date -- each comprised of 800 - 1,600 troops for the offensive.

The general estimated that 30,000 - 45,000 forces would be able to hold Iraq’s second largest city following its recapture from ISIL.

 Currently there are about 8,000 Ninawa governorate police and 10,000 - 12,000 tribal forces that have been trained and will be employed by the holding force, he said, adding that nonlocal forces would assist in securing the city from outside.

He said that since its inception in 2015, the coalition has spent nearly $1.6 billion on the Iraqi train-and-equip fund and trained more than 54,000 forces.

The general also told reporters that the U.S.-led coalition is investigating reports its forces mistakenly fired on Sunni tribal fighters.

But he confirmed that just after midnight Tuesday coalition forces conducted strikes “on a position that was firing upon Iraqi security forces in the vicinity of Kharaib Jabr” south of Mosul.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ekim 2016, 08:34