The US will not launch any major operation to recapture Mosul from Daesh’s group this year, a senior intelligence official said yesterday.
During his speech to Congress, Marine Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, said: “The Mosul operation will be complicated. I’m not as optimistic that we’ll be able to turn that in the near term; certainly not this year.”
“It’s possible that the offensive could start this year, but completing it is still at least a year away. Securing or taking Mosul is an extensive operation and not something I see in the next year or so.”
Iraqi forces, backed by American airstrikes, were able to recapture Ramadi from Daesh in December.
A number of senior Iraqi officials have said lately that Mosul, which fell into the hands of Daesh in 2014, will be liberated this year.
American Vice President, Joe Biden, said in late January: “I promise you, after Ramadi, watch what happens now in Raqqa in Syria and what happens in Mosul, by the end of this year.”
Other American officials believe that the operation to liberate Mosul is not imminent, but is still possible before the end of US President Barack Obama’s term. They added that the key is for the US and its allies to train additional Iraqi forces.