Iraqi-led US-supported efforts to retake Mosul could be imminent, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said Monday. After a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama, Abadi said he hopes to drive Daesh out of the terror group’s “last stronghold” in the next few months.
“We’re going to kick Daesh out of Mosul and we’ll deliver a huge blow to what Daesh believes in,” he said.
Daesh seized Iraq’s second largest city in July 2014 when Iraqi forces retreated, leaving the city vulnerable to the terror group that has maintained its grip ever since.
Obama said he and Abadi have been focusing on retaking the city and the “challenging battle” that lies ahead.
“Mosul is a large city, and ISIL has embedded itself deeply within that city,” Obama said emphasising that coordination between the US, Iraqi forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters has led the US to “feel confident that we will be in a position to move forward fairly rapidly.”
The pair also discussed the importance of rebuilding Mosul “in a way that assures not only ISIL does not come back, but extremist ideologies born out of desperation do not return,” according to Obama.