U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said at least 2,000 Islamic State militants have been killed or badly injured since the offensive to capture Mosul began.
Townsend, commanding general of the anti-Islamic State Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve coalition, on Sunday said there are still between 3,000 and 5,000 IS militants in Mosul.
“At the start of the campaign, we estimated somewhere between at the low end 3,500, at the high end, about 6,000. By our calculations we think we have killed or badly wounded over 2,000. So if you do the math, that’s still 3,000-5,000” militants remaining in Mosul, Townsend said.
Townsend said although the estimated number of militants in Mosul is high after nearly two months since the ground offensive began, that does not suggest there is a stalemate between the Islamic State and Iraqi security forces.
“I don’t think it suggests anything about a stalemate. This is a major urban area. Any army on the planet, to include the United States Army, would be challenged by this fight,” Townsend said. “The Iraqi army has come back from near defeat two years ago, and now they’re attacking this major city.”
Mosul is considered one of the most important battles in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq, as it is considered the militant Islamist group’s last major stronghold in the country. U.S. President Barack Obama and Iraqi officials previously said they expect Mosul to be retaken by the Iraqi government by the end of the year.
Iraqi security forces, aided by the Kurdish Peshmerga, Shiite militias and a U.S.-led international coalition, began a ground offensive on Oct. 17 to capture Mosul away from the control of the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL.
A spokesman for the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service on Friday told Rudaw it is possible to capture Mosul by year’s end.
“Hopefully, inshallah [if Allah wills it], we will do that,” Sabah al-Numan said. “According to the situation on the ground all [troops] reached their goals and the enemy lost their initiative to fight.”
Days Of Our Lives actor Jay Pickett dies on set
U.K. eases COVID-19 travel restrictions as industry lobbies for more
Death toll triples to more than 300 in recent China flooding
Canada advances to women’s soccer final with 1-0 win over United States
Obstruction to Beirut blast probe ‘shameless’: Amnesty International
Weird6 days ago
Meet the completely tattooed Brazilian who removed his nose, added horns and reshaped his ears to resemble an ‘orc’
Europe6 days ago
Three Armenian soldiers killed in clashes with Azerbaijan: Armenian defense ministry
Europe6 days ago
UK’s PM Johnson in talks with US on COVID-19 travel corridor
Health6 days ago
COVID-19 linked to ‘significant’ drop in intelligence: research
Middle East7 days ago
Iran hits record for new COVID-19 cases for second day running
Africa6 days ago
Tunisia reassures EU, UN, Turkey after its president froze parliament
North America4 days ago
Canadian women’s eight crew win Olympic rowing gold for the first time since 1992
Weird6 days ago
Egyptian impersonated a doctor and practiced the profession for 12 years