The United States and Iraq have started preparing for an offensive by summer to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul, which was taken by Islamic State militants last June, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Preparations include selecting and training military units for the planned assault and cutting supply lines to Islamic State fighters, General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told the Journal.
Mosul is the largest city in a self-declared Islamic State caliphate straddling the border between northern Iraq and eastern Syria.
A senior Iraqi official told Reuters in November that Mosul was the focus of government efforts to defeat Islamic State, because of the city’s size and symbolic status.
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