Iraqi officials are dismayed that the US predicted that an offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS could begin in April or May.
One official from US Central Command said that “the mark on the wall we are still shooting for is the April-May timeframe.”
He also said that the reason for launching an attack at the time is to avoid the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts in mid-June, as well as to escape the hot temperatures of the Iraqi summer.
Advertisement – story continues below
Iraq’s defense minister, Khaled Obeidi, was angry that the Pentagon would call the time of the battle and stated:
“A military official should not disclose the date and time of an attack,” he told reporters on Sunday. “The timing is up to (Iraqi) military commanders. Where this American official got his information from, I don’t know.”
The US has been a key partner to the Iraqi military and has launched airstrikes around Mosul since 2014. The months of airstrikes have weakened the hold of ISIS on the city, as supply roads have been cut and military equipment has been destroyed.
Nate Rabkin, the managing editor of the Inside Iraqi Politics newsletter, talking about Mosul, said that “the challenge is enormous, it would be a bigger operation than the post-Saddam Iraqi military has ever accomplished.”
In fact, US Central Command has estimated that 20,000-25,000 federal, Kurdish, and Sunni tribal forces would have to be used to take out 1,000-2,000 ISIS fighters in Mosul.
Advertisement - story continues below
What do you think of the Pentagon stating a date for the Mosul campaign? Does Iraq have the right to be outraged? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.