The Pentagon, departing from previous reluctance to disclose specifics about the fight against the Islamic State, on Thursday announced plans to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, between April and May.
A U.S. Central Command official, speaking at a background press briefing at the Pentagon, said the operation would involve an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Iraqi troops, including three Peshmerga brigades. The U.S. estimates 1,000 to 2,000 Islamic State fighters control Mosul.
“Militarily, ISIL is in decline,” said the official, referring to the Islamic State by the name preferred by the U.S. government. The Islamic State "has a very difficult time seizing and holding additional terrain beyond what it has right now. In fact, in Iraq it is losing ground every single day.”
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