While the Abadi government and Pentagon officials have continued to present themselves as on track to attack Mosul, the largest ISIS city, very soon, Iraqi military officials are much less upbeat, saying ISIS attacks in and around Baghdad are seriously stretching their forces thin, and slowing the buildup.
The officials say they’ve managed to get 2,000 to 3,000 troops to the staging area for Mosul, but estimates have suggested they’ll need 24,000 to 36,000 to actually make a serious run at the city. They say getting that sort of force is going to take many months “or longer.”
Even that is highly speculative, as even committing a few thousand troops to Mosul has seen a massive increase in ISIS strikes around Baghdad, and it’s hard to see how the Iraqi military is going to come up with tens of thousands more troops it can spare for an offensive.
After retaking (and virtually destroying) Ramadi, officials presented Mosul as a next step, though it is several times larger, and Ramadi was just about 50-60 miles from the outskirts of Baghdad, meaning much less supply line to secure.