U.S. sees Iraqi offensive to retake Mosul in April-May time frame

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 4:30 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Iraqi and Kurdish military force of some 20,000 to 25,000 troops is being prepared to recapture the city of Mosul from Islamic State fighters, probably in the April-May time frame, an official at the U.S. Central Command said on Thursday.

The official said Mosul was currently being held by 1,000 to 2,000 Islamic State fighters. No decision has been made on whether small numbers of U.S. military advisers might need to be on the ground close to Mosul to direct close air support, the official said.

(Reporting by David Alexander and Phil Stewart; Editing by Peter Cooney)