Offensive to liberate Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, begins

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced early Monday that a military offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State is now underway. The offensive had been expected some time this month.

“The campaign to liberate Mosul has begun,” Abadi said on Iraqi state television, appearing surrounded by uniformed military officials.

Mosul is Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq. It was once the country’s second-largest city, with a diverse population of about 1.2 million.

Brett McGurk, President Obama’s envoy in the campaign against Islamic State, tweeted the announcement soon after. “Abadi issued orders to…

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