The Wall Street Journal reports: The U.S. is gearing up to assist in an offensive to reclaim the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State, and has sent 400 additional troops to the country in anticipation Iraqi forces will begin the long-delayed battle in October, officials said.
The troops have been sent into Iraq to assist Iraqi forces consolidating south of Mosul in what is known as the launchpad for the allied operation in the city of Qayyarah, defense officials said on Thursday. There now are more than 5,000 U.S. military personnel in the country.
Despite rising optimism over chances for success in Mosul, the new commander of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, said he thinks the battle to retake the jihadist group’s last major Iraqi stronghold will be a difficult and dangerous operation.
“We’re preparing for a hard fight, a long, difficult fight” in Mosul, Gen. Townsend told The Wall Street Journal late Wednesday here at his office at the coalition’s base in Baghdad. “Really, it’s a siege I’m talking about here.” [Continue reading…]