Iraqi forces are making steady progress in their offensive against extremists in spite of the difficulties the challenges they encounter.
The Iraqi government last Thursday announced that it had started the first stage of military operations in Mosul, a stronghold of the extremists.
“After extremists setback in Mosul, Salaheddin and Anbar, Iraq military forces made great success in the past six months. They have liberated 25 percent of Iraqi territory in the past half year, while the extremism once occupied 40 percent of the territory. Nearly 90 percent of Anbar territory has been controlled and the Salaheddin has been controlled totally. Therefore, I think it’s a great success,” security expert Wathiq Al-Hashimi said.
There are Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Turdoman, Yazidi and Christians. We need to reach a political agreement, but we failed to do so.
VICE News (@vicenews) March 26, 2016
Critics continue to question the ability of the Iraqi army to retake Mosul this year following the partial collapse of the military in June 2014.
But al-Hashimi thinks the main problem with recapturing Mosul is “political issues, and then the military ones, because we need to reach a cooperation agreement before the recapture of Mosul.”
Mosul he argued is different from Ramadi. “There are Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Turdoman, Yazidi and Christians. We need to reach a political agreement, but we failed to do so, and someone even opposed the ‘People’s Mobilization’ to participate in the war. Besides, some parties hope Turkish troops can be involved. Therefore, I believe Iraqi Prime Minister should promote the signing of the agreement before the military action.”
Mosul hosts about 2 million people, and its heavy population complicates efforts to retake it.
Iraqi officials have vowed to do all it takes to retake the city this year.