Islamic State forces are reportedly on the brink of defeat in Mosul. The Iraqi city has been the jihadists' last stronghold for some time since the campaign to retake it was launched back in October 2016.
Islamic State forces in Mosul have reportedly been reduced to controlling about 10 percent of the city. Fox News reports that they control around 129 square miles. It has taken longer than many experts anticipated to completely regain control of the area.
Brett McGurk, a special presidential envoy for the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said that the battle was entering its “final stages.”
“The world is now seeing that (Iraqi) soldiers are completely destroying Daesh,” McGurk said.
Maj. Gen. Muhammed al-Shimary with the Nineveh Operations Command thanked McGurk for U.S. assistance and said, "We are looking for more support as the west side of the city will be liberated soon.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson looked to the future of U.S. involvement in Iraq after ISIS is defeated and stated, "As a coalition we are not in the business of nation-building or reconstruction.” The U.S. will, however, equip "war torn communities to take the lead in rebuilding their institutions and returning to stability."
Photo: Children play football next to an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on October 21, 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Several hundred Iraqi families have been made to leave their homes for Mosul by Islamic State fighters as the UN warns they could be used as human shields. ISIS have attacked Kirkuk today as Kurdish and Iraqi forces, backed by a coalition including Britain and the U.S.A continue their offensive to retake Iraq's second largest city of Mosul.
Photo courtesy: Carl Court/Getty Images
Publication date: May 16, 2017