Mosul's recapture will take 'long time': Commander

Hashd al-Shaabi commander says battle for Iraq's Mosul will likely take longer than initially thought

Mosul's recapture will take 'long time': Commander

World Bulletin / News Desk

A prominent Hashd al-Shaabi commander on Sunday acknowledged the difficulties associated with recapturing Mosul from ISIL, saying the operation would take "a long time" given fierce resistance by the extremist group.

In mid-October, the Iraqi military -- backed by a U.S.-led anti-ISIL air coalition and local allies on the ground -- launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at recapturing Mosul, which was overrun by the extremist group in mid-2014.

More than two months later, however, the Iraqi army, federal police and anti-extremism forces remain locked in "fierce fighting" to capture the city, Hadi al-Ameri, leader of the Badr faction (the largest faction of the Hashd al-Shaabi), was quoted as saying Monday by the Hashd al-Shaabi’s official website.

"Many Iraqis are talking as if the battle [for Mosul] will end within days," al-Ameri was quoted as saying.

"But this is wishful thinking," he added. "Judging by the resistance we’ve seen, the battle will likely take a long time."

On Sunday, ISIL militants reportedly carried out several attacks on parts of western Mosul held by the Hashd al-Shaabi, an umbrella of pro-government Shia armed groups.

Captain Jabbar Hasan, a Hashd al-Shaabi officer, told AA that ISIL militants had staged a deadly attack on Hashd al-Shaabi forces stationed in western Mosul’s village of Hammoud Abdul Aziz.

Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture Mosul -- ISIL’s last stronghold in northern Iraq -- by year’s end.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2016, 17:35