Speaking to Reuters in an interview Sunday night, Lt. Col. Stuart James reiterated that the Iraqi military invasion of Mosul is “paused,” part of a protracted redeployment of Iraqi forces over the last two weeks which has seen virtually no territory changing hands, but substantial fighting.
Lt. Col. James insisted that the refit would be finished soon, and that the next phase of the invasion would happen “in the next several days.” Iraqi troops control part of eastern Mosul, but have limited numbers of forces actually in the city, with only special forces getting that far and a lot of other troops still on the outskirts fighting.
Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend also reiterated that the pause is still in effect in his own interview, during which he criticized the Iraqi military for insisting no such pause was happening, insisting that it was the reason that Iraq’s offensive hadn’t netted them any new territory in awhile.
The pause just means no advancing, however, and fighting continues heavily, with nearly 100 ISIS fighters reported slain in Mosul just on Sunday, as they continue to hit the limited government-held territory in eastern Mosul to try to weaken the special forces who remain.
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