Major General Najm al-Jubbouri, the commander of Iraq’s offensive against Mosul and the surrounding area, announced today that the offensive is being put “on hold” indefinitely, pending the arrival of more troops and tribal support.
The offensive wasn’t even attempting to contest Mosul yet, focusing on three villages near Makhmour so far. Reports last week suggested that the advance stalled, and that mass desertion of troops were putting the whole effort in doubt.
Those desertions have once again raised concerns about Iraq’s military being able to carry out an offensive against any sort of major resistance, and were accompanied by accusations that the troops looted the villages before fleeing.
Pentagon officials downplayed the recent losses, saying the Iraqi ground troops aren’t from the area around Mosul, which has been ISIS held for almost two years now, and are “still learning the area.”