by Jenna Harrington
edited by Catherine Tersoni
Iraq is preparing to assault the western portion of Mosul, according to The New York Times.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of the offensive via state-run television on Sunday. Al-Abadi called it “a new dawn” and asked his troops to move forward bravely to free what is left of Mosul.
The city has been under control of the Islamic State for almost three years. The campaign is expected to be about a month long and a huge victory for Iraqi troops, according to The New York Times.
Civilians are trapped in the western part of the city with shortages of food, water, and cooking fuel. The small, narrow streets have the potential to make the “signature suicide bomb attacks” of the Islamic State more effective than usual.
According to The New York Times, American forces are supporting the operation, the engagement of troops in Iraq have not changed. The Islamic State anticipated the operation and destroyed the airport in Mosul.
Iraqi forces are nearing the base of the hill by Abu Saif on Sunday afternoon. Some of the American advisors are on the ground in Iraq helping to plan and carry out the offensive.