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Dislodging IS from Mosul ‘significant strategic gain’: US

As Iraqi forces move forward in their campaign to liberate Mosul city from the ISIS, the US has said dislodging the terror group from its self-declared capital would be a “significant strategic gain”.

“I think the President (Barack Obama) would be the first to acknowledge that this is a significant test, given the population size of Mosul, given the large geographic area that it encompasses,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on MOnday.

“The symbolic importance that the ISIL (ISIS) has invested in their control of Mosul, dislodging them from the city would be a significant strategic gain,” he said.

“That’s why the US and our Iraqi partners have been working so closely over the last several months to prepare for this operation,” Earnest said.

Acknowledging that the battle for Mosul is the next test because progress has already been made on the ground in Iraq, and there have been cities like Ramadi and Tikrit that were retaken from ISIS, he said “these were significant cities, significant in their population size, that Iraqi security forces did succeed in dislodging ISIL from. They did that with the support of the US and our coalition partners”.

The White House official said he was not aware that any sort of a timeframe has been laid out for when the operation would be completed. “Obviously, this represents the next important step in our campaign against ISIL in Iraq. The US has mobilised a 67-member coalition to support the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces as they seek to rid ISIL from their country,” he said. 
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