US to Train Iraqi Brigades to Retake Mosul

US to Train Iraqi Brigades to Retake MosulUS to Train Iraqi Brigades to Retake Mosul

The US-led coalition against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group wants to train at least 10 brigades of Iraqi security forces to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from militants, a spokesman said on Friday.

“What we’re doing now is, in the process of building the force that will go to Mosul eventually,” Anadolu News Agency quoted Col. Steve Warren as saying.

“We think it will be roughly 10 brigades with anywhere from about 2,000, sometimes 3,000. It depends on the brigade–how many people are in the brigade.”

Warren said the coalition wants to provide additional training to the 20,000 Iraqi security forces, including police and Sunni tribal fighters that it has already instructed. “This is going to be many months before we see actual operations for Mosul begin,” he said, adding that the main focus now was to train and build combat power.

IS took control of Iraq’s second city last June and also managed to seize the country’s largest dam–currently under risk of collapsing and causing a major humanitarian catastrophe.

“In Syria, expelling IS from its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa in the north could take more than a year,” Warren said, while stressing that the coalition is isolating the city by launching attacks against high value targets and cutting off supply routes and communication lines.

“It is certainly feasible that Raqqa can be pressured or even assaulted in the next year; it’s also feasible that it will take more than one year,” he said.