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Mosul offensive provides a pre-election boon for Obama

Smoke billows as Iraqi forces hold a position on October 17, 2016 in the area of al-Shura, some 45 kms south of Mosul, while advancing towards the city to retake it from the Islamic State group jihadistsThe battle for Mosul is a chance for President Barack Obama to claim an election-year victory over the Islamic State group in Iraq and offset failures in Syria. Ask the White House about the slow motion catastrophe in Syria and, more likely than not, officials will talk about the different — if related — problem of the Islamic State group. With the battle to retake Mosul kicking off Monday, the Obama administration now really has something to talk about.

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