Iraqi forces begin offensive to retake Mosul from IS group

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced early Monday the beginning of a major offensive to retake the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group, national TV channel Al Iraqiya reported.
Abadi pledged to rebuild Mosul and other towns and villages in Nineveh province after they were destroyed by the extremist IS militants, and vowed to bring stability to Mosul, which is located some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Abadi also vowed that 2016 will be the year of defeating terrorism of the IS group.
Mosul, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, has been under the group’s control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.

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