The Pentagon announced that plans by the U.S. military to retake Iraq’s second largest city Mosul from the Islamic State have been pushed back several months.
Less than a week ago Iraq’s defense minister criticized the US for revealing the time-frame for the upcoming offensive to recapture the Iraqi city from IS militants saying that military commanders should not show their hand to the enemy.
RT report: According to a new report by the Daily Beast, military officials said Friday it is more realistic for Iraqi and Kurdish troops to try and retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) in the fall.
“I can’t put a date certain…nor say April is out,” said Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby to the website. “I don’t think we are there yet. There are gaps and seams that need to be closed.”
A group within the US government pushed for a spring offensive out of concern that the next opportunity to launch such a campaign would not be until the fall, but policymakers were trumped by concerns that Iraqi forces were nowhere near ready for an attack.
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that it would be “six to nine months, best estimate” before Iraqi forces could launch a counter-offensive against ISIS.
“It is an Iraqi decision but we don’t want to do anything until they are ready and can win decisively,” a military official told the Daily Beast. “They cannot now.”