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Retaking Iraq's Mosul: a complex offensive

The battle for Mosul is expected to be difficult, involving street-to-street fighting with the 3,000-4,500 IS jihadists the coalition has estimated are in the areaA complex offensive is taking place to recapture Mosul, the Islamic State group’s last major stronghold in Iraq and the country’s second city. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Monday that operations to liberate Mosul had begun after already calling an operation to retake Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, in March this year. Abadi remains on target to keep his promise that Mosul would be liberated in 2016 but it is still unclear when Iraqi forces will be in a position to move into the city proper.

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