Foreign Policy reports: The Pentagon is walking back its public plans to help Iraqi forces seize Mosul from the Islamic State, chastened by a backlash in Baghdad for failing to inform leaders there before releasing details of the springtime offensive.
Angered Iraqi officials said the unusual level of detail released about the Mosul operation — including that it would likely launch in April or May — created the appearance that the U.S. is leading the battle, and not Iraqi forces.
“We need all parties to focus on their part in the eradication and defeat of Daesh,” Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. Lukman Faily told Foreign Policy on Tuesday. He was referring to the Arabic name for the Islamic State.
Faily also signaled it was a mistake for the Pentagon to have discussed the timing of the offensive with reporters last week at a briefing by a senior U.S. Central Command official who, among other details, estimated up to 25,000 Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers would join the fight. [Continue reading…]